A Perfect Scandal -- From Kensington Books
Book II, The Scandal Series
Disgrace has never been so delicious...
A LADY SEEKING SCANDAL
Lady Isabel Cameron has little use for
marriage and propriety. Her dream is to study
art in Paris. But her father has engaged her to
a waddling, bankrupt, domineering lord twice
her age. When her childhood flame Marcus
Hawksley reappears—handsome, single and
socially snubbed—Isabel devises the perfect
escape. She will solicit Marcus's assistance to
destroy her reputation.
A MAN WITH NOTHING TO LOSE
Marcus has already felt the wrath of the ton,
with his business as a stockbroker deemed
unacceptable. But he is no despoiler of
innocent ladies—until by chance, Isabel's
improper advance leaves her the only witness
against a lie that could truly ruin him. Faced
with her father's demands for marriage, Isabel
and Marcus agree to a wedding of
convenience—and six months' tenure living
as supposed husband and wife. But as the
heat between them grows, what seemed a
pretense becomes deliciously real...
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(4 Stars) "Delicious, tantalizing and
riveting are just a few words to
describe Gabrielle's latest "Scandal." It's the tale of a
desperate miss, a scandalous
proposal and a gentleman intrigued
by a passionate challenge."
-- Romantic Times BOOK Reviews
(4 1/2 Blue Ribbons) "With a strong,
beautiful woman, a gorgeous,
flawed hero, a healthy dose of
passion, and a gripping mystery, A
PERFECT SCANDAL is a perfect
read. Very highly recommended!"
-- Romance Junkies
"Scintillating...will delight Regency
London, May 1814
She stepped even closer, her ripe body swaying like that of a skilled courtesan, yet surrounded by an
aura of innocence. The contradiction was fascinating and alluring all at once. She looked, quite simply, like
a sacrificial virgin in one of the frescoes on the wall.
Looking him straight in the eye, she said, “I need to have a liaison, and I want it to be with you.”
He stood absolutely still and wondered if he had heard her correctly. After a moment, realization
dawned on him, and he chuckled. “Is this some kind of joke?”
“Why would you think that?”
“After not seeing you for eight years, you approach me at Lady Holloway’s ball and very forwardly ask
me to dance. Then the next day you show up here”—he spread his arm toward the debauchery in the
room—“and ask me to become your lover. If this is not a joke, then what else can it be?”
A thoughtful smile curved her mouth. “I assure you, Marcus, this isn’t a joke.”
He shook his head. “Respectable young women who are unmarried debutantes don’t wander around
unchaperoned propositioning men to have affairs. Especially a man with a black cloud hovering over his
“Exactly,” she said. “That’s why you are perfect. My father has arranged a match for me, you see. A
much older, domineering lord.”
“He sounds quite acceptable. Your father has your best interests at heart.”
She pouted, showing full, red lips...very kissable lips.
“I don’t love Lord Walling. He’s thirty-three years my senior, has no interest in who I am, and he
Marcus had to drag his gaze from her mouth to her flashing blue eyes. “He sounds even better. What do
you need me for?”
“I need to create a scandal, ruin my reputation. It’s the only way to get out of Lord Walling’s trap and to
stop my father’s relentless matchmaking. Only then will I be free to return to Auntie Lil in Paris. She’s waiting
for me with open arms.”
“Again, madam, your plan is unsound and irrational. You should obey your father,” he said in a harsh
She reached out and touched his chest. “You may say such things, but your eyes tell another story. I
know you felt something for me when we danced last night. I could feel it, and I’m guessing you did as well.”
Marcus’s throat tightened at her touch. Despite his reservations, his common sense, he was by no
means blind to her face and form. His gaze dropped from her blue eyes to her full, bottom lip, and a trickle
of sweat formed on his brow.
It’s this room, he told himself. Any man would be stiff as a board if he were propositioned by a
beautiful woman in such an erotic environment.
He placed his big hand over her smaller one and moved it away. “You’re wrong. How would an innocent
girl like you know how I felt last night?”
She stepped forward; he stepped back.
“I’m not a girl and you know it. I’m past the age of schoolgirl fantasies. I’m a real woman with interests
and desires, and being married off to a dominating, old lord is not one of them.”
He continued retreating until he realized with dismay that they were closer to the round, satin-encased
If she were an experienced lady looking for sport, he would oblige her and happily. But this was Isabel
Cameron, an innocent lady whose influential father was an earl and a friend of Marcus’s father. Memories of
her childhood antics were still pure and clear in his mind.
“Isabel,” he warned, his tone low and rough.
“I’m very persistent when I want something. Remember how I was as a young girl, Marcus? As a grown
woman, I’m even more tenacious when I desire something.” Her voice was a velvet murmur.
She was so close he could see her irises grow in the dim light. She stared at him with longing, and he
was completely taken by surprise. No one had looked at him that way in a long time, especially not a lady.
He was an outsider, an outcast, whose own family looked down upon him. Here was a remarkably beautiful
woman who gazed at him as if he were her savior, and a spark of unfamiliar need flared inside him so
great he struggled to deal with the ravaging emotion.
His gaze fell to the creamy expanse of her neck, then lower still, to the rounded tops of her full breasts.
When his eyes returned to hers, there was no maidenly innocence in the sky blue depths, only physical
awareness of him as a man. Her invitation was a passionate challenge, impossible to resist. He had an
overwhelming desire to hold her, taste her, trace her full bottom lip with his tongue...
His body grew hot; his heart hammered in his chest.
How much could a man resist?
After all, what harm could one kiss do?
He moved toward her, impelled involuntarily by his own lust. She glided into his arms and wrapped her
arms around his neck.
Still, he held himself back and looked into her eyes. “Isabel, this is madness.”
“That’s what makes it perfect,” she whispered, and then drew his face to hers.