Avon, Jun 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1879, his brother the Earl dies so that Rhys Rhodes the “spare becomes the heir”. With his father also dying, Rhys' half-brother Grayson accompanied by his American wife and five children arrive from Fortune, Texas to pay their respects. One of Grayson's brood, his stepdaughter Lydia Westland, especially looks forward to the trip as she has studied how to deport oneself as a lady and has written a “book” “Blunders in Behavior Corrected” extracted from letters that her cousin mailed her.
Rhys and Lydia are immediately attracted to one another, but she is angry when his mother the duchess goes hysterical over her father staying at the estate as Grayson is living proof that her husband loved someone else. Lydia turns mortified when Rhys corrects her first blunder. As Rhys and Lydia become acquainted they fall in love but he believes that his scandalous past makes him undeserving of her (or anyone's for that matter) so she has her work cut out to persuade him otherwise.
Switching the locale and moving forward almost fifteen years refreshes the Anglo-American historical romances that have delighted readers. Besides a delightful “second” generation story line, the return of the lead characters from A ROGUE IN TEXAS add a feel of seeing how old friends that have not been seen for a while have done. LOVE WITH A SCANDALOUS LORD is an intriguing tale as Rhys is an interesting lead protagonist with many relationship problems. Lydia provides a bit of comic relief with her obsession over aristocratic behavior. Lorraine Heath scores again with a fine Victorian-Texas romance.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner