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Scandal's Daughter by Carola Dunn
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Scandal's Daughter

by Carola Dunn

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I was thrilled with Scandal's Daughter until...halfway through? Maybe even three quarters of the way through? In fact, for the first chapter I was positively bursting with delight: there is so much accurate historical detail! Truly, Ms. Dunn did her research about Ottoman Istanbul - she's got a lot of things right & I've spent years researching the subject myself.

As fascinating as Ms Dunn's penchant for research is, I'd probably better discuss the plot. Cordelia and James run from one disaster to another from the beginning of the book to the end of it. Both of them are exceeedingly competent, intelligent people and so they are able to use a great deal of ingenuity and an equal quantity of luck to get out of each scrape, only to be taken prisoner/kidnapped/etc., again, after about five pages of freedom, if that.

Basically, the endless series of scrapes ends up totally overwhelming all other aspects of the novel. The character development is minimal - Cordelia and James remain relatively wooden throughout the novel - and their feelings for one another lack nuance.

At first I was really enthusiastic about a romance that takes place while the hero and heroine backpack their way slowly through the mountains, learning to live with one another, appreciate one another's courage and derring-do, seeing what a person's really like in stressful circumstances, but there are just SO MANY of these disasters that none of them are properly fleshed out. I wish there had been about half of these freak accidents, and twice as much detail, twice as much getting to know one another, twice as much atmosphere.

In the end, it's smart, it's clever, it's a great idea - but I think that Scandal's Daughter lacks a certain spark of life. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Stranded in Istanbul when her scandalous mother dies, all Cordelia wants is to go home to England and lead a respectable life. Yet she finds herself setting off with James Preston, a rogue sought by the Turkish authorities. Their travels over the mountains and over the waves are dogged by mishap, disaster, and catastrophe.. But love will find the way. Regency Romance/Adventure by Carola Dunn; originally published by Zebra… (more)

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