A Note of Scandal by Nicky Penttila

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SKU 978-1-77130-026-1
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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.

 

Excerpt:

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

Score: 4 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings)
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4/5
sweet Historical romance that was emotionally moving read
Written by Beckey on 1st Feb 2018

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

5/5
A Note of Scandal
Written by John Spillane 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.

5/5
A Romance with History!
Written by Kathleen Parr 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.

4/5
A fascinating plot of history, love, passion, and women's rights or lack thereof.
Written by Anallee 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*

4/5
Must Read
Written by My Cozie Corner 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

4/5
A Note-worthy read. :)
Written by Antonia G 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.

5/5
Can love start with a Lie??
Written by Kindle Customer 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.

4/5
engaging romance shares interesting insights into Regency life
Written by C. Quinn 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.

4/5
Well-drawn characters
Written by Smitten by Books 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)

4/5
thoughts on a note of scandal
Written by hello- booklover 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.

4/5
A creative historical romance.
Written by reader on 1st Feb 2018

I have never read an historical fiction/romance that involved Waterloo before. This was a great twist. You get wounded soldiers, newspaper publishers, a variety of social levels, and women hiding behind men so that they can "create" art or in this case music. I must say the first 5 chapters were a bit difficult to read. Maybe it was me but there seemed to be a lot of vocabulary I had to look up. But once I hit about chapter 6 it was smooth sailing. I found myself cheering for Olivia and Will, wanting to slap Olivia's parents into reality, hold Martin to make him feel better, and just plain annoyed with the self absorbed, selfish upper classes. Olivia is always trying to help others and never seems to be appreciated; her project so to speak in this book is to help Martin and Mary so that they can be married. Olivia is also a very talented composer. Problem is Olivia lives in a time when women were not allowed to do things like create art in any way. When Olivia sends Martin a piece of music she has written he plays if for his regiment as a march an everyone falls in love with the tune. This gives Olivia an idea, let Martin pass the music off as his own and the lies and deceptions spiral out of control from there. I truly enjoy this romance and you will too. *I received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review**

4/5
Great Historical
Written by Gillian Pemberton on 1st Feb 2018

There's just something I love about a historical romance of this type. It's sweet, there is very little sex and it's not graphic at all. However, I always enjoy being reminded of a bygone era, in which simply flashing a bit of ankle was incredibly sexy. When a touch, caress, or kiss, or a single lady being in a man's residence without a chaperone was dangerously scandalous. Somehow, it offers a bit of perspective and balance to what our world is like now. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE steamy, graphic, kinky sex scenes, but I certainly appreciate the qualities in this type of romance. Even it the confines of modesty, the author still creates a palpable heat, sensuality, and chemistry between Livvie and Will, and the progression of their relationship was definitely one I enjoyed. In addition to the romance, the book highlights social issues of the time, including women's rights, and the plight of military veterans returning from war. Not only is the book romantic, but thought-provoking as well. Penttilla's writing has a lyrical quality that is perfect for a romance set in this time period and is a lovely compliment to the "musical" undertones of the plot. This is a great read, I would recommend it to all romance fans and especially fans of historical romance. *I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Visit TattooedBookReview dot com for this review and more

4/5
A note of scandal
Written by Jonel on 1st Feb 2018

This novel is a unique and captivating look back in time. Penttilla takes the lives of quite a few individuals and shows how they intertwine, creating real lives and an amazing story. She doesn't stop there either. Love and heartbreak abound in this novel, where characters attempt to follow their hearts and themselves, against societal expectations. This is a very well written story. It has a nice flow that fits with the storyline. The story and the writing progress in tandem with each other, not disconnected. Penttilla has created a very cohesive work that allows you to immerse yourself in it. This follows through into Penttilla's narrative and descriptions. Although vivid and demonstrative, Penttilla's descriptions remain unobtrusive. She uses them to enlighten her readers, rather than to overpower the story. The characters in this novel are quite well developed. Not only are they interesting in their own rights, but they also fit within the stereotypes for the time period. I also appreciate that some of the characters were at war with themselves, weighing their desires against what is expected of them. This is something that remains within us, even today, yet is much less pronounced now than it was then. The interactions between these unique characters brought to light just how much `scandal' has changed over time. Not only is this story itself interesting, but it makes you want to journey back in time. It is a heartbreaking story that you can relate to regardless of the expanse of time in between. That said, it's also one of the happiest and most empowering stories I've read in quite a while. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review

5/5
Must Read for Hot Summer Season!
Written by Historical Romance Books on 1st Feb 2018

Set in post-Napoleonic England, the lives of William Marsh and Olivia Delancey intertwine in unforeseen circumstances between newspaper reels, music sheets and political speeches. With 246 juicy- pages, it is another must-read for this hot-summer season to make your hearts race! A Note of Scandal is based on the events of Summer of 1814 in England, when Napoleon has just been defeated for the second time is and he surrendered to the British. When the British economy is coming to terms with the war expenses and thousands and British men, have returned home either in coffins, decorated with a medal or broken. The future of the middle-class men seems rather bleak and many are those seeking reforms in the wake of industrialisation. Whilst the Lords are still thinking about the Emperor or have left the city to visit their summer country houses, a newspaper battle ensues between The Register and The Beacon. It is in the light of this scenario that Nicky Penttila succeeds to weave an interesting and consuming novel between two people with different backgrounds and different passions in life. William Marsh is a late-twenty-something publisher of the newspaper The Beacon. His only purpose in life is to follow in his father's footsteps whilst side-stepping his mistakes - to tell the truth at all costs. A true journalist he is always seeking a scoop and does not rely on common sources for his articles. His management of the newspaper made him successful and is highly regarded even by Lords. William Marsh knew the power of words and of the publishing industry. Olivia Delancey on the other hand is a 24 year-old maiden lady. Her father has no male heirs and his political career has ruined the family treasures. With an almost barren house, her passion is music and her prospect to marry her cousin Richard who is bound to inherit her family's estate. Olivia though is very intelligent and kind-hearted. She never backs away from a challenge and is always scheming. When two of her friends find themselves in trouble, she is the one that comes to their rescue with a seemingly brilliant plan. Women at the time were considered as beautiful and were regarded enchanting enough to make small talk with; however they were not reputed 'creative' and the possibility of a woman writing a book or composing a piece of music was almost blasphemous. Our heroine Olivia Delancey; challenges this stoic post-Napoleonic, male-dominated society and makes her musical tunes famous by publishing them under a friend's name. Her life becomes tangled up with the future of her friends and her new indirect boss and love interest. However, enough with the plot as I don't want to provide any spoilers; this book is enchanting and gripping from the very first page. Beautifully written, the reader is engulfed with the plight of the returned soldiers and their futures but also with the struggle that women face when they are continuously considered 'less' than men. It is a passion driven novel that has a rather fast paced plot with various twists and array of characters and detailed descriptions. Nicky Penttila vividly portrays England of the early 18th century not so much in a 'Dickens' way with a focus on the poor but more on the rise of the middle class and the learnt men with no title. Immediately the discourse in the Ale House is reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel and in a similar fashion, the women of this novel are strong, yet tender and compassionate who do not aspire the impossible but work within their limits (given the social limits) to better their futures. It is a novel of hope with three-dimensional characters that one immediately takes a likening to from the early pages. With no real villain and no specific heroes; the novel offers a variety of surprises maybe not so much in the development of the plot itself but rather in the character's growth. In fact whilst I personally loved the story and I was also particularly captured and interested in the character developments. I was also pleased that secondary characters were given ample space to talk and to develop as well. This novel is as much about the historical context as it is about the romance. In fact I was pleased to find a manner of courtship between characters that whilst true to its time it was also very human and down to earth. The relationship between the men and women is all about passion and love with enough romanticism as there is realism both in their physical gestures as well in the speech. If it wasn't clear from my review yet, I given this book a 5 star rating as it was surprisingly interesting and I couldn't put it down easily. It is long enough to provide you with a good amount of pleasurable reading and it is engaging instantly. I wish Nicky Penttila the best of luck and I hope to see this book on the silver screen in the future as I do think a 'live' rendition would be appreciated by many. (Review to be posted on Long Ago Love Historical Romance Blog. Reviewer received no compensation for the review of this book.)

4/5
Enjoyable historical romance with an intelligent heroine
Written by arbjames on 1st Feb 2018

Olivia Delancey is a thinking woman living in a man’s world, a world that has no room for female intelligence and where her own parents have no room in their hearts (or purses) for her. When she composes music that she is especially proud of, an inspiring march, she has no one to share it with except her old music teacher, Martin Purdy, who is off fighting against the French. When he returns a broken man, wounded, and unable to marry Olivia’s friend because of his pennilessness, Olivia sets in a motion a plan to get him the resources he needs, provide him with motivation to get well, and also allow her music to be shared with a wider audience. She gets the march published in a London newspaper, but everyone believes that Martin is its composer. The song is a hit and the public clamors for more of the same. When it becomes apparent that Martin’s wounds prevent him from playing, doubts are cast on his ability to compose. In the meantime, Olivia begins a relationship with the newspaper’s publisher, William Marsh. What will happen if the truth comes out? Will the scandal mean the end of her father’s political career and, even more importantly, her relationship with Will? This was an enjoyable historical romance. Olivia reminded me somewhat of Jane Austen’s Emma, forever trying, in her own special way, to help others, even though somehow it never quite managed to work out exactly as she planned. It was nice to have a heroine with a brain. It was also interesting to have a heroine who was not as pure as snow—she had been intimate with the man she (and apparently the rest of the world) assumed she was going to marry. She is a bit of a rebel, even if she is limited in the ways she is able to show it. Olivia’s parents are pretty detestable as they only seem to care for themselves. I could have overlooked that part until, as part of their efforts to “economize,” they sell the one thing that meant the most to Olivia. Her Aunt Betsy was enlightened—she had figured out how to make her own way in a man’s world with a conveniently “incapacitated” husband. Olivia and Betsy were women ahead of their time. I also did not like Merry, Olivia’s friend, who was engaged to Martin. She turned out to be completely petty and unworthy of both Martin and Olivia.

4/5
Fascinating Napoleonic details in a pleasing romance
Written by Sheila on 20th Jan 2018

Combine Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels with Jane Austen, add a touch of Dickens and a modern sex scene, then you'll have the flavor of Nicky Penttila's Note of Scandal. The notes and scandals are far from predictable, and the writing's smooth and intelligent. Well-researched historical details add depth to plot and character, from the technology of the printing press to financial constraints on rich and poor, the poverty of returning soldiers and the ethically strained laws of politics in the aftermath of Waterloo. Martin Purdy struggles to recover from his physical and mental wounds, while Olivia Delancey schemes to please everyone, especially Martin and his fiancee, accidentally plotting her own downfall. If only Olivia had someone besides her music to love, but now even her promised betrothal's falling through. The men of this world respect women only as marriage fodder, and Olivia has no respect at all for their preconceptions. My favorite scene is of newspaperman Will sketching the action in an age without photographers. Tourists stare at history in the making, and newspapers either report or devise the news. Meanwhile a pleasing marching tune keeps the story moving swiftly along. Olivia and Will have all the expected misunderstandings and more. And Olivia herself has to learn to recognize true friendship and become her own ally before story's end. Note of Scandal is an enjoyable romantic novel with that extra bit of historical backstory that brings an era as well as its people to life--a quick fun read. Disclosure: I received an ecopy during the author's blog tour with a request for my honest review.

4/5
The novel paints a good picture of that time period and the struggles affecting the population after the war.
Written by Gatosqueak on 20th Jan 2018

This novel is historical romance with the main character trying to follow society's norms while trying to share her passion of music/music writing out in the open of society. I liked the personality of the main character and how she tried to deal, chin up, with the society around her squishing her dreams. She drove me a bit batty with constantly enabling the unworthy, whiny friends and family around her, but it fit with her personality. I enjoyed her love interested and their final reconciliation at the end of the novel. The novel paints a good picture of that time period and the struggles affecting the population after the war.

5/5
Surprisingly Touching
Written by Shelagh on 20th Jan 2018

This book moved me to tears. Beautifully written both linguistically and in terms of its plot, the book occupied my thoughts a good deal of the time when I wasn't reading it. I felt part of myself wanting to reach the end to reassure myself that all would turn out well for Will and Olivia while part of me wanted it to go on forever. Now I'm at the end I feel bereft, as though a good friend has left me. I don't think I will ruin this book by trying to express in this review what Nicky Pentila has conveyed so elegantly in the book. A Note Of Scandal is quite simply a wonderful story and I can't recommend it highly enough.

5/5
Funny, sad, eye-opening
Written by Mindy on 20th Jan 2018

Funny, sad, eye-opening, all these apply to this novel. I have always heard about how bad hospitals were especially for soldiers during the early American wars, but I never really thought about how veterans from other wars faired. I realize that this is not the central theme of the book, but this glimpse into history is only one aspect of this novel and shows how well the author knows her subject. I laughed at how the heroine fought against the constraints on women, especially women in the peerage, because I often think that would have been me. The story also reduced me to tears at times. The characters were well rounded and "real" in this story, so that I almost felt as though I was watching a younger cousin or relative live through the story. The rich landscape of the fall of Napoleon, the end of the war, and its impact on the characters was fascinating. I give this story 4.5 out of 5 clouds. This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

4/5
Great Historical Read!
Written by Tina on 20th Jan 2018

A Note of Scandal by Nicky Penttila is not my typical read. Historical romances always leave me feeling like something was missing. I did not get that feeling with this book, at all. This book made me feel. The heroine made me mad in so many places, although that may be annoying to some people, I love it. Anytime I can get into a book enough to truly want to shake a character it's a victory. I listened to this book in audio format. Michelle Ford did a very good job at narrating this book. There were times that it moved a bit slow for my liking, but I'm not convinced that it wasn't a small lag in the book rather than a lack of excitement and attention by the narrator. It wasn't enough of an issue for me to warn anyone away from the audible version or the book in general. Will Marsh has spent his entire publishing career trying to overcome his father's sins. His dad paid the ultimate price for his mistakes, but since Will went into the same field he's always been haunted. Trying to keep his newspaper afloat he decides to print a score written by a wounded vet. Although, he has a bad feeling about it he is assured by the vet himself and his friend Olivia that all is as they say it is. As things heat up in the publishing business and he is close to truly losing his newspaper he should be giving it his complete attention. However, he can not get his mind off of Olivia Delancey and the way she makes him feel. Olivia is taken advantage of by everyone in her life. Her parents are so in love with each other, so bad at managing their money and so ambitious for a career in politics that Olivia is nothing more than a "tool" for them to use. Her closest friend is selfish and has made no secret of using Olivia to get ahead in social circles. Once she falls in love, she uses Olivia to hide her relationship with her beau and to solve the problem of convincing her father to approve the match. In an attempt to help the couple, Olivia convinces the beau to take credit for a score that Olivia herself had written. He can get money and notoriety for the piece. This all seems like such a good idea until Olivia finds herself falling in love with Will. It all started out so innocently. She didn't think anyone would be hurt over it all, but now she knows different. She has to find a way to tell Will the truth and convince him to forgive her. I absolutely loved Will. He has his share of demons and is not perfect, but he is a good man. Did I mention he is sexy and all alpha male? It begs to repeated, he is hot! Olivia is likable, but she drove me crazy. She is sweet and selfless to the point of self sacrifice. I wanted to shake her and make her stand up for herself. It made me so sad to see everyone using her and she just let them. Even in the end, she never found her inner bitch. But, I never disliked her. She is a truly good person. I just wanted her to take charge of her own life instead of making sure everyone else's ran smoothly. I would like to thank Vickie Dold at I.O. Book Tours for the loan of this book in exchange for my honest review. You can find this review and others at [...] and [...]

3/5
I thought I was resourceful and mature
Written by fvnz4j3v on 15th Aug 2014

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5/5
Review From "Long Ago Love - Historical Romance Blog"
Written by Long Ago Love - Historical Romance Books Blog (Posted by Vicki) on 10th Jul 2013

Set in post-Napoleonic England, the lives of William Marsh and Olivia Delancey intertwine in unforeseen circumstances between newspaper reels, music sheets and political speeches. With 246 juicy- pages, it is another must-read for this hot-summer season to make your hearts race! A Note of Scandal is based on the events of Summer of 1814 in England, when Napoleon has just been defeated for the second time is and he surrendered to the British. When the British economy is coming to terms with the war expenses and thousands and British men, have returned home either in coffins, decorated with a medal or broken. The future of the middle-class men seems rather bleak and many are those seeking reforms in the wake of industrialisation. Whilst the Lords are still thinking about the Emperor or have left the city to visit their summer country houses, a newspaper battle ensues between The Register and The Beacon. It is in the light of this scenario that Nicky Penttila succeeds to weave an interesting and consuming novel between two people with different backgrounds and different passions in life. William Marsh is a late-twenty-something publisher of the newspaper The Beacon. His only purpose in life is to follow in his father's footsteps whilst side-stepping his mistakes - to tell the truth at all costs. A true journalist he is always seeking a scoop and does not rely on common sources for his articles. His management of the newspaper made him successful and is highly regarded even by Lords. William Marsh knew the power of words and of the publishing industry. Olivia Delancey on the other hand is a 24 year-old maiden lady. Her father has no male heirs and his political career has ruined the family treasures. With an almost barren house, her passion is music and her prospect to marry her cousin Richard who is bound to inherit her family's estate. Olivia though is very intelligent and kind-hearted. She never backs away from a challenge and is always scheming. When two of her friends find themselves in trouble, she is the one that comes to their rescue with a seemingly brilliant plan. Women at the time were considered as beautiful and were regarded enchanting enough to make small talk with; however they were not reputed 'creative' and the possibility of a woman writing a book or composing a piece of music was almost blasphemous. Our heroine Olivia Delancey; challenges this stoic post-Napoleonic, male-dominated society and makes her musical tunes famous by publishing them under a friend's name. Her life becomes tangled up with the future of her friends and her new indirect boss and love interest. However, enough with the plot as I don't want to provide any spoilers; this book is enchanting and gripping from the very first page. Beautifully written, the reader is engulfed with the plight of the returned soldiers and their futures but also with the struggle that women face when they are continuously considered 'less' than men. It is a passion driven novel that has a rather fast paced plot with various twists and array of characters and detailed descriptions. Nicky Penttila vividly portrays England of the early 18th century not so much in a 'Dickens' way with a focus on the poor but more on the rise of the middle class and the learnt men with no title. Immediately the discourse in the Ale House is reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel and in a similar fashion, the women of this novel are strong, yet tender and compassionate who do not aspire the impossible but work within their limits (given the social limits) to better their futures. It is a novel of hope with three-dimensional characters that one immediately takes a likening to from the early pages. With no real villain and no specific heroes; the novel offers a variety of surprises maybe not so much in the development of the plot itself but rather in the character's growth. In fact whilst I personally loved the story and I was also particularly captured and interested in the character developments. I was also pleased that secondary characters were given ample space to talk and to develop as well. This novel is as much about the historical context as it is about the romance. In fact I was pleased to find a manner of courtship between characters that whilst true to its time it was also very human and down to earth. The relationship between the men and women is all about passion and love with enough romanticism as there is realism both in their physical gestures as well in the speech. If it wasn't clear from my review yet, I given this book a 5 Crowns - Sovereign Queen of Historical Love rating as it was surprisingly interesting and I couldn't put it down easily. It is long enough to provide you with a good amount of pleasurable reading and it is engaging instantly. I wish Nicky Penttila the best of luck and I hope to see this book on the silver screen in the future as I do think a 'live' rendition would be appreciated by many.

5/5
From Romantic Historical Lovers blog
Written by Cleo on 16th Aug 2012

I loved Nicky Penttila’s writing. She seamlessly weaves her extensive historical research into this story. The story is filled with great characters. Her knowledge of the Regency period, music and the press is impressive. A NOTE OF SCANDAL is not your usual Regency romance. The hero, Will Marsh, while extremely attractive and eminently decent, is not an aristocrat, but the story-line handles this imbalance well. The heroine, Olivia Delancey is a baron’s daughter, and no longer a young society miss, her come-out was years ago. Now, at twenty-five, after her long engagement to her father’s heir ends, it looks increasingly likely that despite being a beauty, she will either be left on the shelf or married off to someone she loathes by her politically astute and ruthless father. Her eccentric parents are obsessed with each other – a nice touch by Penttila, for they are delightfully well drawn characters – and neglectfully affectionate to their daughter, allowing her more freedom than most young ladies of the period enjoyed, while sometimes becoming quite heartless and cruel. Olivia struggles with her attraction to Will Marsh who carries a wound from his past, complicating matters. She is good-hearted and a highly talented composer who wishes to improve the lot for others while writing stirring musical scores, which as a woman, she can never claim as her own. This desire leads her into a decision which could bring her whole world crashing down, when she must lie to bring her music to the attention of society. While this novel might be labeled more a historical with romantic elements, than a straight historical romance, there was enough romance to keep a lover of the genre like me interested. About me: I’m a writer and an avid reader of historical romance and romantic suspense. After reading Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt in my teens I developed a lifelong love of English-set historical romance. From Romantic Historical Lovers blog, http://romantichistoricallovers.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/a-note-of-scandal-nicky-penttila-5/

4/5
Review from The Season blog
Written by Helena on 16th Aug 2012

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. Heat-Level: 2.5 (Mild/Sensual) From The Season blog, http://theseasonforromance.com/wordpress/2012/08/review-a-note-of-scandal-by-nicky-pienttila/