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A Note of Scandal by Nicky Penttila


Product Description

What’s the harm in a little white lie?

Especially when it could carry so much good—a new life for a wounded soldier, catharsis after long years of war, and an opportunity for lady composer Olivia Delancey to finally hear her music played in public.

Newspaper publisher Will Marsh refuses to compound the sins of his father’s generation by taking money to print propaganda. But with the end of the wars in France and America, he needs something new to drive Londoners to grab his paper first. Why not publish the score of the “Tune That Took Waterloo,” by a wounded vet, no less?

As Olivia struggles to keep her secrets from this unsuitably alluring publisher, and Will fights to find the truth without losing his hold on this bright-eyed angel who has descended into his life, both discover another sort of truth.

Being the talk of London can be bad—or very, very good.



Olivia’s face mirrored her surprise. She had lost track of him for only a moment, and yet he had snuck all the way up on her. Had he caught her surreptitiously watching him?
“The music does not inspire you?” He gestured at Rosa, but his gaze remained on her.
“It does,” she said, trying to pull on her familiar careless-girl mask. “I must ask after her tailor.”
“That sentiment isn’t worthy of you.” He whispered, but he could have spoken aloud, as little attention as anyone was paying them in the midst of Rosa’s aggressive arpeggios. “Jealous?”
Her mask faltered. “I did not mean it so.”
“Then how?” He slipped to her other side, effectively cutting her off from Mr. Mellon, who did not seem to notice. Too close. She took a step to the side, turning to face her interlocutor.
“She is part of our family now.” Her voice sounded breathy, unsure.
“I heard you arranged this performance.” He stepped closer. “That shows a spirit of generosity, despite your words.”
“She deserves the opportunity. And it is right to salute Spain.”
“Our esteemed ally.” He nodded, leaning in. “But perhaps it is difficult, to see a woman who is allowed the freedom to perform, to create? Who can let her hair down in mixed company?”
He looked away from her a moment, gazing at Rosa. Olivia did not dare look away from him. She let out the breath she didn’t realize she had been holding. Her mind was addled; she was reacting too strongly to this man, to his words. To his smell, deep and rich. Sandlewood, but hints of the flesh within.
The corner of his mouth turned up. He teased her? The thought cast out her breath again. Her ears had a buzzing in them, unrelated to the passionate rhythm of the guitar.
He could read her. He saw far too much. She reached out to touch him, no, to push him away. He turned at her movement, stepping into the path of her hand.
A thrill of power coursed through her arm. It filled her center with energy of an unfamiliar sort. Unable to stop herself, she jumped. Then quickly looked around to see if anyone saw.
She could never make a scene. Not here in public. She took another step back, pulling her hands tightly behind her, as if they were tied.
Step by step, they sidled to the side of the great room. Toward the shadows.

“Are you disappointed your fiancé found someone else?”
“It isn’t that.” She was not quite sure she could call up a vision of Richard at the moment. Her awareness was centered on the man in front of her.
They passed the seven-foot-high sterling candelabra and into the shadows, far from the crowd. Olivia would not have believed she could feel so alone in the midst of a gala. Alone, but for one other.


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Product Reviews

Showing reviews 1-10 of 25 | Next

  1. sweet Historical romance that was emotionally moving read 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    Touching, captivating, enjoyable, sweet Historical romance that was emotionally moving read. 4 stars

  2. A Note of Scandal 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    This is a Regency romance for those who say they *don't read* Regency romances. Perhaps a better description is historical fiction with romantic elements. Whatever you want to call it, A Note of Scandal is a great read.

  3. A Romance with History! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    This romance novel combines the thrill of reading a good romance with the intrigue of great historical fiction. The author takes you back to Waterloo with a cast of life-sized characters. It is obvious that the writer has done her homework as the sense of place is vivid and renewed with each page turn. In spite of the well-researched setting, the story and the romance whirl you away into a book that is difficult to put down. This is a quick read. We will be hoping for more from this talented author soon.

  4. A fascinating plot of history, love, passion, and women's rights or lack thereof. 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    Nicky Penttila pens "A Note of Scandal" with a fascinating plot of history, love, passion, and women's rights or lack thereof. The characters are very well fleshed out and very easy to visualize and relate to. Yes the book is a bit slow and has some unfamiliar word usage in the first few chapters, but I promise if you stay with it you will be sucked into the drama and not want to put the book down until you read "THE END".

    *I received a free copy f the book in exchange of an honest review*

  5. Must Read 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    Nicky pens "A Note of Scandal", a historical romance in a unique plot filled with love, passion, history and a touch of humor. The flow of the story line is smooth and her characters were well developed. I reviewed the audio version on this book and Michelle Ford narrates the book and her character changes were done nicely which kept my interest. A must read for all historical romance fans.

    This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review

  6. A Note-worthy read. :) 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the Authors way of writing. She introduces you to the characters in such a way as to make you feel like you are there with them. I loved Olivia and Will. They both were so human in their mistakes, but so adorable in their love for each other. On the other hand I thoroughly disliked Olivia's parents and Mercy. I will be looking forward to more of this Author though.

  7. Can love start with a Lie?? 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    H: William "Will" Marsh publisher of the newspaper. well respected.
    h: Olivia Delancey independent, strong willed, loving, good heart Music lover.

    I really got into this book. I felt characters were well developed. I felt part of their struggle.

    So this book start out with a lie between the H and h, not a very good start. The lie was done in a good heart though for a good reason. So let the passion begin....

    I think the author did a great job with the background information. I think she gave you enough of an understanding of the times and the struggles without being boring, or feeling like i was in history class. I think she did a great job I look forward to reading more from her. I like how she also made it steamy and sexy with out being too erotic.

  8. engaging romance shares interesting insights into Regency life 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    A wonderful Regency romance that captures some of the seedier side of life in that time- the class inequalities, the tragedy of those injured in the war, the sad lack of opportunities for many women. Olivia is a great heroine, though there were times I wanted her to listen to her inner voice and stand up for herself for once. Will makes for a great foil to Olivia, struggling to maintain his father's legacy in the face of overwhelming odds. Though Olivia's motives for getting involved with Merry and Martin don't emerge early enough in the story to make sense, her actions do make more sense when viewed in light of the societal structures of the time.

    Well-written with strong dialogue and interesting insights into Regency life, this engaging romance is a delightful read.

  9. Well-drawn characters 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    What can be done post-Waterloo when soldiers are scattered about the streets of London and lying shattered in the wards of its hospitals with little or no future? And, there's love to be saved?

    Improvise then, lie.

    But all for a good cause. And that's the clever premise of Nicky Penttila's newest novel, `A Note of Scandal.' With a well-drawn cast of characters who aptly represent and execute the story's plots and subplots, Penttila draws readers into the music halls, publishing offices, half-empty estates and festering hospital wards where machinations of all sorts are afoot and interwoven creating a story that makes readers want to cheer, revolt, weep and hope.

    Olivia Delancey is the talented, kind-hearted, overlooked and ultimately frustrated daughter given up for spinster hood by her annoyingling selfish and negligent parents set upon selling everything in order to curry favor and win her father a seat in Parliament. Thrown over by cousin Richard Avery for Spanish wife, Rosa, Olivia refocuses her efforts in her secret music composing which proves a beginning and end for her and the friend (Lt. Martin Purdy) whom she tries to help by it.

    Lt. Martin Purdy, the broken but good-natured soldier who played Olivia's tune- a military march said to inspire on the battlefield at Waterloo - The Tune That Took Waterloo - is smitten with Merry Buckham but the only chance of marrying her is to have money. Something hard to come by amongst the thousands of veterans now unemployed. Spurned by her fiancée, Olivia still believes in the cause of love and is willing to help others achieve what has eluded her. So Olivia offers Martin a plan. Following a conversation about how he played one of her tunes on the battlefield at Waterloo, Olivia unleashes an plan that she hopes will help them both - sell Martin's compelling story of playing, The Tune That Took Waterloo on the battlefield (truth), bring attention to the plight of veterans (needed) and then take credit as the composer (the lie). For Olivia, it's a chance to earn Martin a living and her to give an audience to her compositions while highlighting the wounded soldiers. This particular aspect underscores the accepted role of women during that time period - that of wives and mothers and certainly not as composers or business women. But Olivia is determined to rise above it even if another must be given credit and the funds.

    Olivia with renewed vigor and purpose and always trying to make the best of things especially when directed by her parents to sell off yet more furniture or another portion of their Plymouth estate, sees an opportunity for her and Martin. Turned down several times, she finally secures the printing of her musical score and Martin's story at The Beacon headed by publisher Will Marsh. Embroiled in his own family tug-of-war over newspaper control (this is London afterall) and captivated by Olivia, he squelches his newspaperman's instinct that there's something more to the story than her helping a friend as she debuts The Tune That Took Waterloo in a public concert. With its success and stories being printed and calls for more music, things unravel quickly for Olivia.

    The premise of the story is different and fits the time period well with scene detail and very good dialogue but a couple of the subplots felt a bit disembodied though this could have been due to editing. Olivia's father's political aspirations are laid out at the start but not Will's. While he and Olivia have embarked on a relationship - thanks to unmistakable chemistry - and he questions his own desires and abilities to keep The Beacon, his own potential in Parliament begins to surface which is somewhat jarring as it appears a convenient exit strategy from the newspaper. His talented artistry in sketching is noted on sighting and observing Napoleon's ship anchored in Plymouth and yet that is left unexplored. With so much happening though, only so much can be done and Penttila's deft inter-weaving of events and a large group of personalities is very well done.

    Nonetheless, the feelings between Olivia and Will feel real and his struggle with her deception honest. What was harder was how terribly hard the people closest to Olivia were on her as they found out. Which means Penttila did a good job as we care and want to stand up in Olivia's defense! She begins to rectify this by displaying more of the bravado of her composer self by explaining then publicizing, her wish to help not only Martin but the soldiers in their struggles to survive in a post-war world. Too, the matter of Avery and his wife Rosa felt like a dangling modifier that was a peripheral or perhaps a set up for what women could achieve. We're left hanging as we see Rosa perform, men faint at her passionate playing and Olivia torn as she must weigh an invitation to join her on tour throughout Europe. The tension between the two women is nicely played and an uneasy peace forged between the two.

    Still, we deeply feel her frustration at everyone, everything and her pain - right reason, wrong way - and the chain of events set off as the vicious rival paper, The Register - begins to intimate the deception surrounding the The Tune That Took Waterloo. Readers will also want to throttle Olivia's ridiculous parents, Richard Avery and the ungrateful Merry who is ultimately exposed as a shrew and cry for the broken Martin who is ultimately given a new start in life by the delightful lawyer, Mr. Swizzlewit who also happens to be a dwarf though huge on heart and intelligence.

    Penttila has given readers a distinct story with a wide palette of characters and roles that are well-drawn and displayed by their dialogue and actions, nice period details that bring us into the post-Waterloo setting and give voice to the emerging role of women and veterans wrapping it up nicely in a novel that spans an impressive array of emotions.

    Rating: 4 (Very Good)

    Heat-Level: 2.5 (Mild/Sensual)

    Reviewed by Helena

    Originally published on The Season Blog (theseasonforromance dot com/wordpress)

  10. thoughts on a note of scandal 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2018

    I received this from netgalley and was pleasantly surprised.

    I wasn't sure if I would like a historical romance but this was a tender and sweet read. I did not like her friend Merry and how she felt that she was entitled to have everything her way.

    I loved how this book portrayed that woman even in this era wanted to be independent and strong and could be. Society woman could be and if they found the right man to support them would shine and grow. And Miss Delancey did. She found a newspaper man named Will by accident. She lied and schemed at first not for him but to help Merry and Martin get their happily ever after. Martin just got back from the war and was broken but him and Merry wanted to marry. He needed a station in life and Miss Delancey helped him get one, with the help of Will of course.

    This lie led to more and more and this snowballed but not before she fell in love.

    A book that shows how societal woman are boxed into roles and the strength of one to forge ahead and become herself- a strong talented person who has someone who understands and supports her endeavours.

    a wonderful read.

Showing reviews 1-10 of 25 | Next

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