A Little More Scandal is the first book (novella) I’ve read by Carrie Lofty. Since it’s listed as “1.5” in The Christies series I assumed the story took place sometime after the first book, Flawless. But at the end of the novella is the blurb and excerpt from Flawless and the first line in the blurb is:
Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies’ man, is dead.
Wait, what? William Christie is the hero in A Little More Scandal! Nooooo…! But after a brief investigation at Goodreads I realized that the novella is a prequel, the story of the Christie parents, William and Catrin and how they met and fell in love. Now that I’ve got the timeline straight, I’m actually glad I stared with A Little More Scandal, it just makes more sense this way.
William Christie is a self-made man having made his considerable fortune by being ruthless in business and trade. He is driven and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Even if he has to seduce the infamous Miss Catrin Jones, the only survivor of a naval shipwreck that claimed many soldiers lives.
William’s aim was to secure the most sought-after exposé of the decade. Not because he was a journalist. By no means. He did, however, have his sights set on owning a newspaper. Francis Lymon’s Daily Journal was failing at an astonishing rate of decline. The right article about the right nurse, along with a hefty dose of William’s own capital, would set the institution on solid footing. With a newspaper in his back pocket, he could continue his bid to rally support for the essential railroad contracts that underpinned his corporations.
Catrin was a military nurse and after she survived the shipwreck, she became the latest novelty of the ton and subject of much speculation because of her refusal to tell the details of the disaster and why she was the only survivor. Not one to waste a golden opportunity, she intends to endure the gossip and use her 15 minutes of fame to find a wealthy husband.
This is a story of “You’ve got what I want, I’ve got what you want, let’s negotiate.” Both Catrin and William are very calculating people. William is somewhat brash and used to people backing down from him. He has no intention of marrying Catrin, he’s been down that road before but he has every intention of making her tell her story. But Catrin is no pushover and proves to be more of a challenge than he anticipated.
Considering how much he enjoyed when people backed down from his opinions, he should have been displeased to confront a woman so determined to honor a mind of her own. He was anything but.
The story builds on the conflict of why Catrin refuses to tell her story. I expected a shocking revelation, but when all was revealed I was a little let down. It didn’t fully sink in at first, just how important her secret was to keep, and then all at once it hit me. While I didn’t hold Catrin’s scheme-y man-hunting behavior against her, I didn’t really appreciate her character until after her secret came out. Then suddenly everything about her made sense, making me like her all the more. I guess I was a little slow on the up-take on this one but maybe it was because I was distracted by the brash, alpha male Scotsman who was slowly falling in love with Catrin.
She bit his lower lip, her smile returning in force. “So strong,” she whispered against his wet mouth.
William’s vision wavered at the edges. He was trying to intimidate her, not impress her, yet her breathy compliment sent a thrilling jolt to his cock. Yes, he was strong. He had forged himself into a man no one would challenge. Yet this tiny, curious woman shoved at his control with more determination every time.
He wanted to shove right back.
As big and intimidating as he is to everyone else, William is just no match for the woman who is gradually bringing him to his knees. *swoon* I love that. William and Catrin are a lovely couple and I was a little sad to realize this was only a glimpse into the past and their love story is the foundation for the series. However, I look forward to reading about their children what William puts them up to in order to earn their inheritance.
Carrie Lofty will be here later today with a guest post and giveaway.