Pursued by the Rake (Season of Scandal Book 1) 


Hazel Curwen, attendant to the Princess of Wales in 1814, arrives for duty in Connaught Place to find a raucous party occurring. She adroitly avoids the inebriated men on her way to the princess’s chambers, only to find three other young ladies hiding within the antechamber. The next morning, these four young ladies discover that the princess is gone, and they are the subject of judgement for having been there. The other three young ladies have powerful families to help them weather the censure, but Hazel does not. She hastily departs for the home of her prior governess, only to miss the stagecoach. Sir Joseph Sayle offers to take her to that home, which begins their friendship. Hazel realizes she is ruined because of her proximity to the party, even though she didn’t partake in the revelry. Sir Joseph knows she is innocent, but can’t figure out why someone is deliberately trying to sabotage her future.

This mystery and how to repair the damage provides much of the tension in this book. The story progresses at a reasonable pace, leaving the reader invested in the outcome. One of Sir Joseph’s sisters has an unexplained and abrupt about-face regarding her treatment and judgement of Hazel, but the remaining characters all seem to behave consistently throughout. Hazel is grounded in the realities of life around her, which makes her a wonderfully refreshing protagonist! Sir Joseph is a diplomat, and is skilled in being able to adapt to changing circumstances, which adds creativity to this story. There are also some delightful children and young adults that bring lighthearted amusement to this story. 

Carey Sullivan