Sunday, December 1, 2013

HH REVIEW - Silk and Scandal by Cassandra Dean

Title: Silk and Scandal (The Silk Series)
Author: Cassandra Dean
Publisher: Decadent Publishing (3 May 2013)
Language: English

Silk and Scandal is a delightful romance novella. It is set primarily in nineteenth-century England, and tells of a relationship torn by class and social morality between Nicola, a titled lady, and Thomas, a foundling who becomes a barrister. Nicola, constrained by class and sex to lead an indolent life as she accompanies her diplomat father around the world, frequently lands herself in scandal in her search for diversion. Thomas, meanwhile, is frenetically focused upon building his career and tries to forget about his now scandalous childhood friend. Lady Nicola returns to England, seeks him out and proceeds to turn Thomas's careful life upside down.

While the tale sits at the 'sweet' end of the sexual scale, Ms Dean has a knack for evoking kisses with fresh and loving detail. It's rare to find an un-clichéd smooch in a romance. However, what I particularly enjoyed in this novella was the series of letters that opened - and ended, with nice symmetry - the narrative. The to-and-fro of letters at the outset outlines the way in which hero and heroine grow up and away from each other - emotionally, physically and socially - with admirable brevity. This is both an amusing and very historical plot device, and permits Ms Dean to convincingly cover eight years of plot within a few pages.

There is little to criticise about this tale beyond its scattering of editorial oversights. I would have appreciated more insight into the nature of Lady Nicola's scandals - but concede that such detail would have been matter for a much longer novel.

A light and enjoyable read.

Countess Esterhazy

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