The Perfect Scandal (The Scandal Series)

The Perfect Scandal (The Scandal Series)

If there is anything Tristan Adam Hargrove, fourth Marquis of Moreland, has learned to avoid, it’s scandal. For the dark and dashing lord is not only an honorable gentleman who would never seduce a woman for his own gain, he is also the author of How to Avoid a Scandal, the infamous red book that has swept like wildfire through the better part of London society.

When a raven-haired beauty arrives as his new neighbor, he knows better than to succumb to the desire he feels. He knows little about her—only that she is high born, a protégé of the Crown and completely unsuitable for the base passions he hides from the world. If only he had never glimpsed the vulnerable beauty one fateful night. If only her lips were not so ravishingly red. If only it were not already too late to save her and himself from the untamed passion he is about to unleash in the name of love.


  • Series: The Scandal Series (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373775547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373775545
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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  1. Before you can love another you must first learn to love yourself, forgive yourself for past mistakes and when the world around you feels chaotic, it’s okay to not always be in control. These are a few of the hard lessons that both Tristan Hargrove, Fourth Marquis of Moreland and Countess Zosia Kwiatkowska must learn before they can honestly give their hearts to one another. Admittedly, Zosia seems to have an easier time of going with flow where Hargrove is concerned with the changes she causes in his life.

    Take whatever you thought you knew about all the basic elements of a typical Regency romance and toss at least sixty percent of it out the window. The Perfect Scandal is NOT your typical Regency romance. There are so many elements of this book that left me thinking “Wow!” I could only begin to describe a few but I would rather let you experience the taboos and unique surprises Ms. Marvelle penned in this last installment.

    Let me also suggest you read the letter to the reader by Ms. Marvelle. She has embraced her heritage with pride and you experience that nationalism within this story. There is Polish history woven into the plot along with her imagination of how Poland and Russia could have been connected by royal blood. I felt that underlying story arc was completely plausible and well thought out.

    As with the first two books, each chapter is introduced by a passage from the ladies etiquette book How To Avoid A Scandal. Where this book differs substantially, you are given parts of the original manuscript including editing marks. I can’t emphasize enough, do not skip over the lines that are crossed out. They are incredibly funny when taken in context with the rest of the excerpt and as well as revealing of the true personality of the author of the book.Read more ›

  2. *Note: Read and reviewed for The Season for Romance.

    Tristan leads a very quiet life and always strives to be the perfect gentleman. He does so because he has a dark secret that he’s ashamed of. A secret few understand, including his grandmother. Raised by his grandmother after his parents double-suicide, she knows all too well the struggles he has faced and somewhat overcome. Unfortunately, even as a grown man well into his twenties, he still lives in the shadows of his vice.

    Zosia was extricated from her homeland of Poland and has become a prisoner of sorts in her London townhouse. Without explanation, she is placed in the custody of the English King and is told she must marry a suitable Englishman. She accepts her fate and set her eyes on Tristan whom she has been watching from afar. She knows that he is everything her ideal husband should be: handsome, an upstanding member of society and most importantly, has great political connections.

    One evening while Tristan is going for an evening walk, he spies his beautiful neighbor sitting by the window as she brushes her hair. He is transfixed. She catches him watching her, opens the window and strikes up a rather unorthodox conversation with him. He is dumbfounded by her lack of manners, well, lack of by English standards. He is initially put-off by her, but he is also intrigued. After paying her a visit one day, he learns she is an amputee. She has lost part of one of her legs when part of a building collapsed on her during a fire. Despite her situation, she remains entirely independent and self-confident.

    Tristan and Zosia begin spending more time together and learning about each other. Tristan decides to reveal his deep, dark secret and to his pleasant surprise, found Zosia to be very compassionate.Read more ›

  3. In 1829, Marquis Tristan Hargrove secretly authored the extremely popular tome How to Avoid a Scandal. He diligently tries to adhere to his book avoiding any impropriety, behaving as a perfect gentleman.

    However, for the first time as an adult, Tristan struggles to keep his base desires at bay after seeing his new aristocratic London neighbor; he cannot stop thinking of her lips demanding he kiss her. Polish immigrant Zosia Kwiatkowska is King George’s ward. The monarch seeks to marry the volatile immigrant who wants her freedom to help liberate Poland from Tsarist rule. Unable to resist and ignoring his grandmother’s plea to not do it, Tristan resolutely sets out to make Zosia his wife. As they fall in love, her Polish freedom quest places both of them at risk.

    The latest Perfect Scandal late Regency romance is made fresh by the Polish fight for independence. This historical backdrop enhances the storyline by providing a fascinating cast starting with the lead female who uses crutches to walk and upon meeting Tristan in person for the first time at her bedroom window where he proposes marriage. Although grimmer than the previous two entries (see Prelude to a Scandal and Once Upon a Scandal), Delilah Marvelle provides a perfectly marvelous finish to a wonderful historical series.

    Harriet Klausner

  4. While this is no silly romance, it is also not weighed down by the characters’ depressing self-loathing or ennui. The characters grow because the author makes them do so. Tristan learns to truly love and understand himself and even his grandmother overcomes her fears.

    Written against a backdrop of political intrigue that is not too complex to understand and does not overwhelm the romance, the hero and heroine, Tristan and Zosia, learn how unselfish love in all its forms is. Tristan, as scarred and broken as he is, is more than a hero, he’s a man. He’s a passionate, handsome man who finds his salvation, not just in the love of Zosia, but also when he learns to love himself. Zosia is ahead of Tristan in self-acceptance and she is equally as passionate as he is. She longs for a free Poland and is willing to sacrifice for her people, but she also learns of love outside of politics. Her feelings for Tristan are real and just as fierce as his are for her.

    What I like is that Marvelle creates characters that are memorable because they seem so real. She makes the attraction and passion between Tristan and Zosia obvious so that when they declare their love, it feels genuine. The romance of the story is funny, warm, heartbreaking and touching throughout. This is a novel without fat. You won’t find yourself skipping paragraphs or pages; it is that good.

    This is a beautiful love story that keeps afresh all our romantic ideas about love and passion.

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