Lady Scandal by Wendy LeCapra
Overview by Amazon:
Sophia Baneham has lived in the poison of her dead father’s shadow for longer than she cares to admit. Now she exists outside of polite society’s influence, holding gambling parties for London’s most dangerous men. When a man walks into one of her soirees, a compelling mix of charisma and icy control, he offers the lady of sin a wager she can’t refuse…
Lord Randolph is a spy in the service of His Majesty, but he’s given an oath to protect the daughter of his mentor. Even as his gamble of marriage starts to spiral out of control and his passions ignite, Randolph is determined that he’ll handle things his way…
But when danger closes in, Randolph won’t just have to protect Sophia from an intended killer. He’ll have to protect her from himself…
This is the second book in the Furies series. I read the first book in the series, but I liked this one much more than the first. The characters and the plot were so compelling. I particularly loved Randolph. He was just amazing.
The story takes place in a time period that I am not all the familiar with. The men and women powder their hair which has never seemed sexy to me, but Wendy LeCapra manages to make it cool. Sophia and her two friends, Lavinia and Thea are the Furies. They court scandal and run a gambling house that is popular for its decadence and vice.
This is the chance to learn Sophia’s story. She has been raised by her father, the Earl of Baneham to follow his rules. Each chapter opens with one of his rules that will be explored in the chapter. Randolph has worked with Sophia’s father before his death. He is intimately aware of the rules and this earns Sophia’s disgust and distrust.
The story is told in the present day, but we start after Sophia and Randolph have married. The events leading up to the marriage are told through flashbacks that are incredibly effective and very sexy. I liked this literary device that the author uses. She unfolds the story at a steady pace, answering questions that the reader would have in a timely manner.
Randolph is just so hot. He has a dirty mouth and the way he seduces Sophia with his words was SO hot. He uses modern slang language that may have not been historically accurate, but I so did not care. He’s a strong man who is supremely intelligent. I liked that he struggled with his missions, that he was distracted by Sophia and that he was unsure of how to proceed.
Sophia was also a great character. She may be my favourite of the Furies. She has a complicated past that continues to define her future – until she takes control. The decadent parties and the creation of the Furies was her invention. She is self-supporting and very capable. I like that in the lead characters. She didn’t need Randolph for money or her future as she was independent. However, she needed Randolph because she loved him.
The secondary characters are excellent. I loved learning more about the Furies and their respective men. Sophia finds solace on a Quaker farm and I really enjoyed Friend Elizabeth. Her method of speech was interesting and it added authenticity to the character.
The mysterious spy plot starts to unravel in this book. We learn more about the Kasai and the traitors to the crown. It was well done and I found myself eagerly waiting to find out who would be implicated and how Sophia and Randolph would extricate themselves from the tangled web left by Baneham.
This is a very solid story. Although it is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. Let me know if you have a chance to read it and what you think!