Her Scandalous Pursuit
Her Scandalous Pursuit, although Book seven in Candace Camp’s The Mad Morelands series, tells the story of the oldest Moreland sibling. When the series began in 2003 with Mesmerized, Thisbe was already married. Now, in Her Scandalous Pursuit, readers get to see Thisbe’s love story. It is a tale I think fans of the series will enjoy.
Thisbe Moreland is more interested in chemistry than ballrooms. At twenty-three she has eschewed a come-out and much prefers attending scientific lectures. It is at one of these lectures that she meets fellow science enthusiast Desmond Harrison. Desmond, the son of a thief, received an education (through the grace of a clergyman) and now studies prisms with one Professor Gordon, infamous for his search to see ghosts. Desmond isn’t sure about Gordon’s pursuits but is happy to work for him as he helped support Desmond in his education and subsequent careers. Thisbe definitely doesn’t believe in ghosts, but her attraction to Desmond is undeniable.
Enter Thisbe’s grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Broughton, a firm believer in all things spirit-related. In fact, she regularly communes with her dead husband and other relatives and she is the owner of the instrument Gordon is desperately seeking – The Eye of Annie Blue – which purportedly allows the user to see ghosts. Some seekers even believe the Eye allows the user to raise the dead. Desmond has no idea that Thisbe is related to the Dowager Duchess until he sees Thisbe at Broughton House as he is watching it for Professor Gordon. Professor Gordon and his benefactor Mr. Wallace have decided to steal the Eye – it is not rightfully anyone’s, they argue and should be used for science. Desmond disagrees and refuses to let them use his friendship with Thisbe for nefarious purposes.
The romance between Thisbe and Desmond is blossoming well until the Dowager Duchess meets Desmond and declares – “For your love, my granddaughter will die”. Well, that will put a damper on any relationship. Then the Eye disappears from Broughton House and Desmond disappears a few days later. What’s a girl to think?
If you are not a fan of a little paranormal activity mixed in with your romance, then steer clear of this series. The plot in Her Scandalous Pursuit, like all of the books in The Mad Morelands series, has a mystical twist. This is a book half mystery and half romance and Ms. Camp does a lovely job giving equal weight to both. The twists and turns the plot takes are somewhat predictable but enjoyable nonetheless. At over 400 pages, the book drags a little from time to time, introducing all the other Moreland siblings and sometimes veering off track but overall the mystery unfurls at a good pace, keeping the reader wondering what will happen next and who the bad guy really is.
Thisbe and Desmond are a delightful couple and I bought their mutual attraction easily. Thisbe is a solid heroine – confident in her own worth but not conceited or proud. Desmond is adorable and surprisingly determined and forthright. It was fun to watch them develop as individuals and as a team. Seeing them as a young couple and knowing them from the later books was an unusual treat for this reader!
Readers who have enjoyed The Mad Morelands series will know what to expect here and will enjoy this addition to the series. If you are new to it, this is a good place to start as it could be considered Book 0 of the series. And, can I just say, I love this cover!
Buy it at: Amazon
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