Cornick, Nicola. Whisper of Scandal. Don Mills, Ontario: HQN, 2010.
Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0373774401 | 362 pages | Regency Romance
This is my first book by Nicola Cornick, and it won’t be my last. With Whisper of Scandal, she creates layered characters who, while not always likable, have depth to them that makes them sympathetic. With Joanna, I enjoyed how she presents the half-truth of being a pleasure-loving, materialistic woman, while also grappling with the hurt from her marriage to her deceased abusive husband, and the fact that she failed to give him a child. I always find it compelling and sad when historicals focus on the stories of women who long for children and have trouble conceiving, especially given the inexact science of the times, and how often the fault lay with the woman, especially if the man proved fertile with someone else. And while the situation is not fully resolved by the end of the book, I hope she is blessed with children in the future.
Alex took a bit longer to like, especially since he did think badly of Joanna, because he believe his best friend’s word that his wife was awful. But over the course of the book, he grew on me, especially as I began to understand his concerns for Joanna making the journey to the Arctic due to his guilt over his first wife’s death while on another expedition.
I thorougly enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Devlin and Purchase, and I can’t wait to read their stories. However, I am unsure about Lottie’s story, given that I found her intolerable at times in this book, but I do look forward to seeing how she can be redeemed.