A captivating story of romance, passion and adventure set in nineteenth century London and Italy.
London 1859. Carina Temple has put away the stifling black crepe demanded by the death of her father – but with it she has also cast aside society’s expectations of what a single young lady should be and do.
When Carina’s uncle summons her to Belgrave Square to inform her that her reputation is ruined, thanks to a certain Lord Danby, he tells her that she must travel to Italy until the gossip recedes and a suitable match can be found for her.
But Italy is a tempestuous place – her grandmother and cousins soon tell her of the fault lines between the states and the dangerous rebels fighting for freedom. Chief among these is Ben Mavrone – and when he and Carina meet, he distrusts her society pedigree, and she considers him a violent extremist.
When trouble comes to Carina’s door, it is Ben who saves her – reluctantly – and as they go on the run, they must learn to understand each other to stay alive.
Meanwhile back in England, Carina’s family has plans for the life Miss Temple should lead – if she ever returns…
An Italian Scandal is based on Cecil Cameron’s own family history and is perfect for fans of the Bridgerton series.
Lady Cecil Cameron OBE grew up on the Scottish border near Jedburgh, daughter of the Marquis and Lady Lothian. Her grandmother came from Naples and is the inspiration behind her writing. Cecil read renaissance history at London University and subsequently worked for Save the Children in Vietnam and the UK. Married to the Chief of Clan Cameron, she was made an OBE in 2002 for services to children.
My thoughts: this was an excellent historical romance, with the backdrop of Sicily’s (and then Italy’s) fight for independence from the Bourbons and the eventual unification of the country. Sent to her maternal grandmother as a punishment, Carina is all set to sulk till her uncle allows her to return to London, but she doesn’t expect to fall for the island and the dashing revolutionary Ben Mavrone.
Over a tempestuous year, Carina will find love, friendship and a new purpose, as well as reconnect with her late mother’s Sicilian family and heritage. She’ll suffer but it makes her stronger and more determined to be part of shaping the country’s future and of being with Ben, whatever it takes.
Sweeping and action packed, Carina is a modern heroine, despite the historical setting, she works as a nurse and then as part of General Garibaldi’s inner circle, riding with his bodyguards, dressed in trousers and red shirt, far from the glamorous gowns of her London life. I loved her aunt Alice, rooting for her from Northumbria, and the band of friends she makes, some of whom were real people, their passion is inspiring.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.