Lessons in Scandal (Her Majesty’s Matchmaker Book 1)


Ariana Stanton, the illegitimate daughter of Lord Lytton, writes him when her mother dies, leaving her nowhere to go. Surprisingly, Lytton invites her to live in his home and enjoy the rest of the season to hopefully find her a husband. His wife, Lady Lytton is tasked with turning Ariana into an acceptable member of the ton and presenting her to the queen. Lady Lytton, her son, Charles, and her maid, Clara, all despise Ariana and make her life miserable. Constance Blackwood introduces Ariana to Colin Ashbury, Viscount Rafferty, who falls for her immediately. Constance promises Queen Charlotte the two will be engaged by the end of the season, because she is an accomplished matchmaker. Ariana is ashamed of her humble beginnings and rejects Colin’s offers of marriage three times, giving a different reason she is not worthy each time.

“Lessons in Scandal” has an interesting plot with several twists which are surprising, especially in a historical novel. The detail is exquisite and describes everything down to the seed pearls on every one of Ariana’s dresses. Because of this detail, however, the story’s pace slows, making it difficult to remain engaged with the tale. The main emotion felt throughout this piece by the main characters is anger. After a while it wears thin. Ariana is just not a likable heroine. She is spiteful in the face of Colin’s love, constantly humiliating him. By contrast, Queen Charlotte and Constance are like a breath of fresh air! Ariana’s escapes from unpleasant situations add comic relief to this tale. The introduction to a series, it will be interesting to see what is in store for readers!

Belinda Wilson