Prelude to a Scandal

Prelude to a Scandal - Delilah Marvelle Unconventional heroine accepts rake Duke's marriage proposal of marriage in return for bailing her zoologist father who was imprisoned by England's king for publishing a shocking book about human sexuality from his animal research. Both heroine & Hero have been attracted to each other since they 1st met a year before & heroine has written weekly letters to Hero. But their marriage starts out already strained. Hero has been steadfastly controlling his obsessive sexual impulses for the last 8 months due to a horrendous incident that scarred him physically & emotionally & he finds it tough to let go of his sexual control with heroine. Heroine makes it clear to Hero that she won't sleep with him until he can treat her with respect & want her for herself instead of just her body. The presence of the former mistress of Hero's brother increases the strain of their marriage. How will Hero & heroine manage the challenges to their r/s?

My 1st Marvelle book & it was promising. The writing, romance, sexual chemistry, sex scenes, emotionality, & character development were good overall but it wasn't tightly-written nor was it consistent. There were some very strong elements to the story (romance b/w 2 social outsiders, tortured Hero, personal growth) that were mixed with weak or misdirected ones, making this book have an inconsistent flow. There were motives & reasons for why things happened that didn't fully make sense to me (i.e., if Hero was so attracted to heroine since they 1st met, then why didn't he pursue her as relentlessly as he did his brother's mistress? Why was he still so tempted to masturbate to his brother's mistress portrait when heroine was sexually available to him?). The main unresolved factor for me is Hero's tangled feelings for his brother's mistress. I finished the book puzzled & dissatisfied about how Hero truly felt about his brother's mistress. He seemed more obsessed with her than he was with heroine. Marvelle took the easy way out in dealing with this tangle by making the mistress have lesbian tendencies. This made it easy for Hero to cut emotional & sexual ties with the mistress & thus focus solely on heroine. It would've made Hero's love for heroine stronger & any doubts about Hero's feelings about the mistress clearer if Hero soundly chose heroine due to deep deliberation & introspection.

Moderately recommended.