The eighty-fourth book I read in 2014 was Scandal and the Duchess by Jennifer Ashley. This is book 6.5 in the Highland Pleasures/Mackenzie family series. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. I finished this book on 9/17/14 (my birthday! :-)). This book tells the story of Steven McBride, brother to Ainsley McBride from book #3 in the series and Elliot McBride from book #5 in the series. Steven is home on leave from the military and spends his first night home getting sloshed in a bar. When he tries to head back to his lodgings, he can’t seem to remember exactly where he’s booked a room for this trip. While trying to figure it out he stumbles (literally) into Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of Southdown.
Scandal seems to find Rose wherever she goes, even if most of the supposed scandals are complete falsities made up by the members of the press. When Steven collapses into Rose in the street, she takes him home thinking him a poor homeless veteran. She lets him sleep it off in her guest room and then brings him some breakfast. In return for her kindness, Steven decides to help Rose in her unfortunate situation. It seems that the new Duke (that inherited the title when Rose’s husband died) is contesting the marriage and refuses to pay Rose a widow’s settlement or let her stay in any of the estate’s houses. Steven decides to help her and hires a lawyer to argue her case and also stands up to Albert for her.
Overall I like this book (really more of a short story). I liked the characters a lot, Rose was very compassionate and Steven very alpha male. The plot was interesting if fast paced as one would expect in a novella. I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the next book in the series, Rules for a Proper Governess, due to come out on October 7.
Link to author website: http://www.jenniferashley.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Scandal-Duchess-Mackenzies-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00DGZKJ5C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411046652&sr=1-1&keywords=scandal+and+the+duchess