Avon, Jul 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1818 London, Viscount Blaine Underwood asks his long time friend Earl Gabriel Warren for help. At a gentleman's club, Mallory, run by a woman, Blaine's son insists he was cheated at cards. Blaine knows Gabriel's cause to ban gambling throughout England and wants his friend to close this joint before some other idiot is fleeced. However, just the name shakes Gabriel to the core. Ten years ago, Gabriel and his beloved fiancee Lilith Mallory made love, but she vanished and he never found her as his only information source her father died.
At Mallory, Gabriel and Lilith see one another for the first time in a decade. She wants to hate the man who compromised her, forced her into exile to avoid scandal, but never came for her. He wants to detest the woman who deserted him and his love without a look back. However, the feelings run deep in spite of their mutual hatred, mistrust, and misconception of the other. Soon they both realize that they still love their beloved enemy.
A GAME OF SCANDAL is an amusing Regency romance that is at its lofty best when the lead couple exchange barbing double entendres that subtly rip skin. Though a subplot involving a businessman is exciting, it takes away from the strong gender war between two foes that intimately know one another. As she did with A SEDUCTIVE OFFER and this novel, Kathryn Smith provides an engaging tale starring intriguing bantering protagonists that hopefully will soon follow with the third buddy Gabriel and the person he does not wish to see.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner