Scandalous Love

Scandalous Love

by Brenda Joyce

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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The Scorching Saga of the Braggs Continues!

Never A Bride

Rebelliously independent Lady Nicole Bragg Shelton refuses to be constrained by the stifling rules of Victorian England. And now desire has impelled the beautiful heiress toward a shocking liaison with Hadrian Braxton-Lowell, Duke of Clayborough.

Bound by the dictates of honor and duty to another woman, Hadrian is hocked by Nicole's daring conduct, yet entranced by her fiery free spirit and breathtaking sensuality. Though resolved to making the raven-haired beauty his mistress, he will never agree to wed her. But Nicole is no man's plaything. And she is prepared to risk heartache in order to satisfy her wild, uncompromising passion . . . and win the dashing Duke's unwavering loyalty and undying love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380765362
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/05/2000
Series: Bragg Saga Series , #6
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 643,039
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Brenda Joyce is the bestselling, award-winning author of Promise of the Rose,Scandalous Love and The Fires of Paradise. All nine of her historical romances have been highly acclaimed, and four of them, including the first three novels in the "Bragg" saga Innpocent Fire, Firestorm, and Violet Fire have won six awards from Romantic Times and Affaire de Coeur. She has also won three industry awards for her trendsetting promotional bookmarks from Affaire de Coeur. Brenda Joyce is currently working on her next novel.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Dragmore, 1898

"You have callers, my Lady."

"But I never have callers," Nicole protested.

Aldric looked at her, his lined face unfathomable, although his brown eyes were twinkling. "The ladies Margaret Adderly and Stacy Worthington, my Lady."

Nicole was surprised. Of course, it was an exaggeration to say that she never had callers, for her best friend, the Viscountess Serle, as well as the local gentry and her family, did come calling rather frequently. But they didn't really count. What counted was the fact that she herself did not have the usual bevy of callers like other young ladies of her class. Not in the past several years. Not since the scandal. What could these ladies, whom she had never met, possibly want?

"Tell them I'll be right down. Have refreshments served, Aldric," she told the butler. A bubble of excitement rose up in her.

Aldric nodded, but before leaving he raised one bushy white eyebrow. "Perhaps I should mention that you will be a few minutes, my Lady?"

She understood and chuckled, looking down ruefully at her men's breeches and muddy riding boots. Although it was almost the dawning of a new era—the twentieth century—women did not wear men's clothing even when they had just cause. Some things never changed. "Good of you to remind me, Aldric. I shouldn't chase away my illustrious visitors before I even find out why they've come."

Still chuckling, she waited for Aldric to leave, imagining the shock the two proper ladies downstairs would receive if they saw her attired like a man. It just wasn't done.

Nicole sighed, honest enough with herself to know that hercarefreeattitude and rather improper sense of humour did not help her situation—not that she was really in a situation, she reminded herself. After all, she chose to remain in the country. As she riffled carelessly through her armoire for the appropriate undergarments, she admitted to herself that it was nice to have young women come calling. It had been a long time. Not that she wasn't happy at Dragmore, for she was. Her life was Dragmore, horses and books. It was just that, well, it had been a long time.

Nicole donned a combination, stockings and a petticoat, as quickly as she could. She hated corsets and refused to wear them, even though she was twenty-three and five feet ten inches in her bare feet. She was bigger than most women and then there was her age. She refused unequivocally to try and cinch in her waistline as if she were five feet tall, eighteen years old and a scant hundred pounds. If people knew, they would talk. People loved to talk, Nicole had found out firsthand. But in this instance, no one could possibly know, and even if they did, Nicole was adamant.

It wasn't just a matter of comfort. Nicole was a voracious reader. She agreed with some of her favorite women authors who favored knickers and bloomers instead ofthe current fashions, which were, they held, unhealthily constrictive. Like corsets. Just as modem society had invented rules of decorum expressly to keep women intheir place, so too it had invented fashions for the exact same purpose.

After all, a corseted, fainting woman could not be expected to do more than smile and breathe. A fainting woman could not run, ride, shoot or think. A fainting woman was demure.

Nicole was wise enough to know that she should keep her wisdom to herself.

When she had finished dressing she paused one instant to look nervously in the mirror, aware of the tightening knot of anticipation in her belly. She scowled at herself. It wasn't that she disliked her quiet navy blue jacket and skirt, for she couldn't have cared less about clothes as long as she was not constricted by them. It was other aspects of her appearance which displeased her.

She sighed. "Well, what did you expect?" she asked her reflection seriously. "To be shorter? To be blonde? What are you, a nitwit? If people judge you by how you look, why, they're not worth one pence!"

Her door opened. "Are you calling me, mum?"

Nicole blushed. If the servants ever caught her talking to herself she'd never live it down! "Uh, yes, Annie, would you take my breeches to Sue Anne? The left knee needs patching." She smiled brightly, waiting until Annie had taken up the pants and left. Then she looked at herself with a frown. She was still ridiculously tall and much too dark. She had inherited all of her father's swarthy looks, and nothing from her petite, blonde mother. She wasn't morose by nature, but couldn't her hair have been brown instead of jet black?

She should have asked Annie to help her with her hair instead of making up a story about her britches, she thought, trying to run a comb through it, because the thick, wavy black mass fell to her waist and was untamable without a second pair of hands. It was too late for that now, and Nicole tied it back quickly with a ribbon. The ladies Adderly and Worthington were waiting. Her belly clenched again. If she delayed another minute it would be downright rude. Abruptly Nicole left her room and flew down the stairs, forgetting she was in skirts until she tripped and was forced into a more sedate, ladylike pace.

In the hall below she paused to catch her breath and calm her quivering nerves. She told herself that she was being silly—she was only receiving callers, something other young ladies did every day of their lives. Hurrying down a long, marble-floored corridor, she wished that her mother, the Countess of Dragmore, was home to give her a dose of good advice. But Jane was in London with Nicole's younger sister, Regina, who refused to remain in the secluded countryside when the season was in full swing. Nicole wished her parents would let Regina get married and forget about the fact that she, the elder sister, was unwed and likely to stay that way forever.

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Scandalous Love (Bragg Saga Series) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Bria808 More than 1 year ago
Awesome Read I absolutely loved this book! Yes, I was at times, annoyed at our heroine, but that's what made me love this book even more. Lady Nicole was so relatable, not only in her wonderful brazen choices, but also in her decision-making. On several occasions, our heroine is faced with choices she has to make and although I personally did not agree with the choices she had made, I still found myself empathizing with her because when I was her age, I had also made a lot of unwise decisions. Not only did I love Lady Nicole for her naiveté, but also for her independent and adventurous nature that surely made up for it. As for our hero, the Duke, I also fell in love with his passionate and controlling ways. I know this is a great read because every time I put it down to go do something else (like the laundry or dealing with the kids) in the back of my mind, I am always wondering how the story will play out and what will become of our hero and heroine. I mean, it's a romance novel and usually we know that the outcome will ensure of both of the lead characters will eventually live happily ever, but it's also a great adventure of reading how they got there and what they had to go through to get there. Such a great book! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This historic romance gripped me from beginning to end. Ms. Joyce has masterfully weaved a tale full of emotions, past sorrows, and passion. Can love truly conquer all? A must read!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brenda Joyce's 'Scandalous Love' touched my heart. I loved the relationship between Nicole and Hadrian, the foridden romance, the sexually charged chapters and the undeniable love for one another. The first time I read their story it draw me in. And that was just the first read though. This story is one of True love. Don't deny self the pleasure of reading this novel. Pick it up today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this book at the library and I thought it would be an interesting story. Boy was I wrong! It's so good, I keep reading it over and over! I recommend this to certainly is a page turner!!!! If anyone knows any other good stories as this....please email me! Thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grrr...why don't the main characters ever communicate their true feelings to each other? Why do they persist in internalize their concerns and love for each other ? Attraction, passion, sex, miscommunication , arguments , silent treatment , running away, avoiding each other . So frustrating . Then, when the happy ending finally happens, the book comes to a screeching halt. It would have been nice to have an epilogue with some continued happiness .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book from beginning to end!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book.I couldn't put it down,the characters were as enchanting as the story line. You always wanted to know what was about to happen!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. I was looking for a book to read in a used bookstore and i saw this.I thought it was going to be nice. I was wrong it was GREAT!!! I couldn't put it down. The sexual tension between Hadrian and Nicole is absolutely amazing.This book you can't put it down because you'll feel as if you would miss something. I totally recommend this book to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read many Brenda Joyce books, so when I went to Israel, I bought this book to read on the plane. I could not put this book down until I read the very last page. I definately recommend this book to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually came across this book by accident in the bookstore and am I ever glad that I did. These two characters sizzle with fire and passion and forbidden romance. It oozes sexual tension from its pages and is extremely hard to put down. I love reading this book. This romance is full of intensity, integrity and intelligence. Read this book and you won't want to put it down either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't believe this book was written by the same author of the Deadly series. I bought this book with high expectations, especially after reading the reviews. The herione was a complete shrew. By page 200, I actually hated her. The borderline rape sexual encounters were a bit much also. I couldn't finish it as I really didn't care if they lived happily ever after.