Rose Barclay, the dowager Duchess of Southdown is a
scandalous character through very little fault of her
Married to a much older man who died shortly after their
wedding, Rose has become a target for the journalists who
make up scandalous stories about her. Especially since
the new Duke is contesting the legality of the marriage.
One night, she meets a drunken soldier. He stumbles into
her pinning her against a carriage door. Since they are
both surrounded by journalists, yet another story is
Stephen McBride awakens to find himself in yet another
scandal. As a solider, Stephen is trustworthy and sober.
On leave, Stephen battles his demons with drunkenness and
debauchery. Both of them lead to his meeting with Rose.
Despite his proclivity for scandal, Stephen is a kind man
who can't bear to see others in trouble. When Rose
explains her situation, Stephen decides he must set it
Stephen announces their betrothal to the world. With his
strong connection to the MacKenzie family, Stephen hires
a solicitor to resolve the issues between Rose and the
Ms. Ashley writes intriguing characters and strong
stories. SCANDAL AND THE DUCHESS is a classic Ashley
tale. Rose is so appealing as her tendency to get in
trouble is always through her efforts to be kind and
helpful to others. Stephen has some demons to overcome
and the attraction he feels to Rose is strong. Ms.
Ashley has another winner to add to her impressive
resume. I really enjoyed this story.
Scandal follows Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of
Southdown, wherever she goes. It's never her fault, but
newspapers love to write about the young woman from
Scotland, and the much older duke she married, who died on
their honeymoon. The duke left her with a large widow's
portion, now contested by his younger brother, who kicks
Rose out of the estate's dower house and uses it to kennel
Rose does not need to be found with a large, handsome Scot
passed out at her feet, fueling gossips and giving her
brother-in-law more ammunition. The Scot is Steven
McBride--a decorated soldier who is notorious for heavy
gambling and womanizing during his leave time. Steven is
happy to open his eyes and find the beautiful woman
over him, and happy to help spirit her away. But the
journalists get wind and start a campaign to couple Rose
with the scandalous Steven McBride.