I’m a sucker for these kinds of mass paperbacks, but this one let me down a little bit. To be fair The Scandal of it All is the second book in The Rogue Files by Sophie Jordan, but I didn’t realize that until I had already purchased it and cracked it open at home. However, based on the reviews I’ve read from others, it would seem that reading the other novel before The Scandal of it All would have only let me down more.
On the positive:
One thing I particularly liked about this novel is Graciela, the protagonist, is a widow. In my experience, when you read about widows from this time period they are all old, withered women who are long past their prime. The reality, though, is that widows were often women like Graciela: young, virile and still most definitely in the peak of their life. So, at least in this way, the book played on something very unique that I hadn’t seen before.
Beyond what was just mentioned I don’t necessarily have a lot of overt positive’s about this story. It read a little slow in the beginning, but did pick up later on. I actually ended up staying an hour past my bedtime to finish the book because once I started it up again, I found it difficult to just toss back aside.
Without going into specifics, there was one part of the book near the ending that messed with my heart. It was a good scene and one that I was not expecting. I literally gasped out loud, which is something I don’t generally do, so props to the author on that one.
On the negative:
I found the ending of the book was paced a little weird, which was confusing, but it wasn’t a huge issue.
The main problem I had with the story, is that I didn’t care for Colin and Graciela together. They didn’t seem to have any real relationship for one another, besides their sexual attraction. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if the book was about them becoming and staying just lovers, but thats not how these work. Romances must have a HEA or a Happy Ever After. In most cases, its usually marriage and The Scandal of it All is no different. The lack of a romantic relationship between the two characters was palpable, which was why it was so eye-rolling-ly, annoying when they were declaring “I love yous” later on in the book. The declarations just didn’t feel honest.
The other big issue I had with the story is that it was repetitive. The plot of the story was push and pull, but it was the same rope being jerked back and forth, back and forth through the whole story. Over and over you hear the same things: “I’m too old, you’re too young” “What about my step-son? You’re his best friend” “this is wrong.” It was starting to drive me crazy and it actually caused me to put the book down a few times because it was just too much of the same thing.
Overall, I gave the book 2.5 stars. This was a real let down for me, which sucks because I love romance novels. I was excited to read about a young widow who goes to a notorious sex club, but I was left sorely wanting.