Believe it or not, every now and again I like to sink my teeth into a period romance. Yes, yes, queen of the crime scene loves a good squishy love story. I can hear you snickering but it’s true. This time my love of love stories has brought me to read Deborah L. Fruchey’s “A Scandalous Creature.”
A dual story, split almost evenly between the characters of Letitia “Letty” Beecham, a headstrong and somewhat vapid teenaged ward of the other lead character Lady Katherine “Kate” Hellerson, a redheaded fire brand with a glibe tongue and cutting wit.
Kate was everything I hope for in a period heroine. Strong, independently wealthy (timely widowed) and capable of leading a merry dance with her tongue alone. Sometimes I mourn the death of witty banter and innuendo in the modern age of conversation and then I try and write a scene with a little of it and I’m reminded that it’s fun to read but harder than hells to do!
There were few modern love scenes (ok, there were none) though they author did attempt to tackle some distinctly modern sexual themes without (spousal rape for example) putting too much of a blush on the rose.
Overall it was pretty enjoyable, except for Letty’s portion of the book (the child really was vapid) even though it seemed to rely a bit too heavily on the ‘romantic misunderstanding’ convention especially towards the end. I did wish rather fervently that there would be at least one super hot love scene instead of so many involving accounts, finances or architecture but I still managed to devour the book in two short days so I feel reasonable in recommending it to any looking for a little dash of romance and wit.