Review: The Seduction of Scandal by Cathy Maxwell

Format: mass market paperback
Pub Date: Sept 2011
Publisher: Avon
Length: 375 pages
POV: 3rd
FTC: Not sure if I paid for it or not, but from RT12 and signed by the author

I used to read Cathy Maxwell all of the time, but she's fallen off of my reading radar in the last several years.

This is a book that could have been excellent. I'd have loved it to either have a grittier take on the highwayman or a humorous take on the whole highwayman/reverend dichotomy. Alas, it does neither, and leaves itself to dwell in the land of Avon Homogeneity.

I don't think I've read a more predictable book in ages. Not only is the super secret identity of Thorn not secret, our heroine figures it out pretty darn quickly. Well before a 1/3 of the book. There is no suspense at all. Even the town knows that Thorn is the reverend. The only ones who don't are Corinne's father and her future father-n-law (the villain).

The stolen identity plot line at the end of the book is even MORE predictable than the rest of the story. Gigantic hints are dropped throughout. The only surprise is that the author basically tacked that on at the very end. I thought it would be woven in earlier, adding to the stakes.

The entire book is a trite, oddly bland story that has little suspense, no true peril, no real emotion. No anguish, no thrills, no humor. And the secondary characters are just as flat. In fact, the only decent character is the horse. Maxwell has written decent books, but this is not one of them.

My Grade: D

The Blurb:
It’s never wise to blackmail a highwayman.
Lady Corinne, rebellious daughter of the Duke of Banfield, refuses to marry Lord Freddie Sherwin. Yes, he’s the catch of the Season and the man her father chose for her. He’s also the most despicable male of her acquaintance. With her wedding only weeks away, she flees and finds herself a prisoner of the notorious Thorn!
Who says the devil isn’t a woman?
The rich and powerful tremble at the highwayman’s name, while England’s villagers rejoice in his bold exploits. His identity is a secret; his life a mystery—until Lady Corinne tumbles into his arms. If the Thorn wants her silence, he must hide her until her wedding day passes. It’s a devil’s bargain and one that can only lead to a hangman’s noose.
Corinne believes it the perfect plan—until her highwayman reveals a passionate lover’s heart, and she realizes that in the seduction of scandal, she may have found the hero she’s been waiting for her whole life.


  1. Bland pretty much describes my experience with Maxwell's books. I've read a handful (2? 3?) and they were the sort of books where after I finished the last page I instantly forgot everything I just read. If I don't review them right away on the blog? Poof! Totally incapable of recall.

    1. I remember liking them once upon a time, but this was so. boring. It should be thrilling with that kind of setup. Totally unoffensive and generic, which was disappointing.