From the moment Daphne, Lady Pomeroy, meets the mysterious Marquess of Hartwell at a masquerade ball, she's determined to seduce him. The handsome, charming man cannot possibly be the cold, calculating lord who Society calls "Black Hart." Risking everything, the lonely widow invites the elusive Hartwell to her dinner party…for two. Hartwell's arrogant reputation is built on a lie. For he has a shameful secret that keeps him in the shadows: a stutter—his downfall since childhood. He'd rather keep his mouth shut than look the fool. But he's shocked to discover that in Daphne's company—and in her bed—his stutter vanishes.
After one wanton evening together, Daphne is hurt when the lord lives up to his Black Hart name. Yet his reasons for leaving surprise even him. Now he must confess everything or risk losing Daphne forever…
Book reviewed by Lori Carroll
As with so many of the previous reviewed historical eroticas, I have to start this review the same way. This is a short novella that is currently only available in ebook format. It is a Regency erotic romance novel, so the romantic development revolves more heavily around their sexual relationship. If any of those situations do not appeal to you, this is not the book for you. Now on to the story.
Daphne has no intention of getting married again. She is comfortably wealthy, has her brother and his family, and has finally found the freedom to indulge her desires. Unfortunately, there are few men that interest her enough to put forth the energy. Until she meets Hartwell.
Hartwell hates crowds. He's always been shy, but that has been compounded by a stutter, which his demanding father taught him to despise. Oddly enough, he finds his stutter to be almost non-existent in Daphne's presence. Despite the calming effect she has on him, he still avoids her presence, which does nothing but frustrate Daphne. When Daphne finally corners Hartwell she invites him to a dinner party at her house, one that Hartwell is unaware will be for only the two of them. It doesn't take much to spark the flames between the two of them, and once started there is no stopping.
I never know when I start these books what to expect. With A Scandalous Affair Ms. Erickson brought forth two characters that were fully fleshed out and interesting. Hartwell's speech impediment was only worsened by his own personal demons, but somehow, along with making a believable love story, Ms. Erickson was able to make me fully appreciate his success in overcoming it.
I would not say that the sex scenes in this book were anything overly raunchy for a Regency romance, but it fell into the erotic category because of the amount of sexual relations they had, along with the heat and passion behind them.
I definitely recommend this if you are looking for a good quick read, and I will be on the lookout for Ms. Erickson's next one.