*Book Review and Q&A at the bottom of the page
Scandal’s Deception by Pamela GibsonPublication Date: July 21, 2021 Soul Mate Publishing, LLC Series: Scandal Series, Book 4 Genre: Regency Historical Romance Jane Stafford, raised in America, is shocked to learn she is a wealthy heiress, her late father was an earl, and her English mother is alive. Anxious to meet the woman she long-thought dead, she travels to London, only to be whisked away by her sinfully handsome guardian to a remote estate to be “schooled” in the ways of the ton. Gilbert Carmichael, Lord Ralston, chafes at having to make a rebellious young heiress acceptable to society, especially one who is impetuous and blatantly democratic. Because the instruction she needs is more than deportment and dancing. It’s also about how to spot a rake who might woo her for her fortune. When Ralston learns his ward is to be used as a pawn in an elaborate scheme involving a secret impersonation, he will move heaven and earth to keep her safe. Because proximity has brought the uncomfortable knowledge that his interest may be more than duty—it just might be love.
About the AuthorAuthor of eight books on California history and sixteen romance novels, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who now lives in the Nevada desert. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in public administration, but her passion is and always has been writing. Having spent three years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of Ralph, her Siamese rescue cat. If you want to learn more about her activities go to https://www.pamelagibsonwrites.com and sign up for her blog and quarterly newsletter. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, and Goodreads.
Upon the death of her beloved father, Jane, an American, learns she is an heiress, her father was an earl, and her mother is still alive and living in England. Her home in America is sold and Jane is sent to England to her mother. However, upon arrival, she is told she will be under the tutelage of her guardian, Lord Ralston, learning the ways of “The ton,” so she can fit into society. Then she finds out she has a twin sister.
This is a compelling Regency romance with plenty of action. There are mild sex scenes and language. Jane’s anguish upon losing her father and her home and being forced to go to another country is well portrayed. The villain is a definitely a “rakish rogue,” who gets away with some shocking behavior, but since he is highly placed in society, I feel this is believable. Jane’s mother is haughty, remote, and manipulative, and I would have liked to have seen more of her in the book. I don’t think the twin sister’s character is as well developed, but we will learn more about her in an upcoming book in the series, Scandal’s Redemption. Jane is delightful, as she is a skilled and intelligent young woman, and no fainting Regency flower. She is described by Lord Ralston as “having the education of a young male,” which would have been quite unusual at the time.
Scandal’s Deception is filled with adventure and intrigue, and fans of Regency romances will enjoy this story of a misfit thrust into an unfamiliar world. As a warning, there is an attempted rape in this novel.
I received a free copy of this book via HistFic Virtual Book Tours. My review is voluntary.
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Q&A WITH AUTHOR PAMELA GIBSON
I’m excited to provide a Q&A I did with the author of Scandal’s Deception, Pamela Gibson. She gave us some GREAT answers, and I want to thank her again for participating in this interview.
Hi Pamela. To start off, tell us a little bit more about yourself. Where are you from, what do you like to do in your spare time, and what inspired you to start writing?
Hi Bonnie. Thanks for having me today.
I was born and raised in San Juan Capistrano, a small town on the California coast. At its heart was a famous Franciscan Mission. I was allowed to roam freely inside the mission grounds as a child. The town was small and everybody knew everyone. I made up a lot of stories while hanging around that Mission, especially after my little brother died of leukemia. I think my love of story-telling began as an escape, but expanded into an avocation. I can certainly trace my interest in history to that time and it is still with me today.
In college I majored in history, but I didn’t go into teaching. Instead, I became a newspaper reporter, writing about “current history” every day. In my spare time I researched the past and eventually published eight history books covering localized subjects. When I married a man who liked to “mess about in boats” my spare time was spent on a sailboat racing crew, and over time we transitioned to power boats. My greatest boating adventure was a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot trawler which took eight months. We actually circumnavigated the eastern third of the United States and parts of Canada via oceans, lakes, rivers, and canals.
Needless to say there was lots of time to read and I’d always wanted to write a novel, so I began writing fiction on the boat. Now that our boating adventures are over and my husband and I are retired, I write at home.
What was the inspiration behind Scandal’s Deception?
I’d always wanted to write a “fish out of water” story and while I write contemporary and historical novels, I decided putting this type of character in my Regency series would be a good challenge. I remembered the old film, The Parent Trap, about twins who were separated by their divorced parents at birth, who meet at a camp, and decide to trade places. This book doesn’t go quite that far, but my American twin’s father dies and she discovers he had many secrets, including a wife still living. When she’s sent to her mother in England, her guardian takes it upon himself to prepare her for life as the daughter of an earl, a life full of rules.
This was the perfect scenario for my “fish out of water” trope because the two countries had been at war and life for my heroine in Maryland had been completely different from the life of her twin sister. It created unusual conflicts and allowed for a good learning curve for my heroine.
What message or information would you like us to take away after reading the book?
Books should have themes and this one’s is about believing in yourself. My heroine goes through a great deal of upheaval, has to learn a whole set of rules she finds silly, becomes attached to the sister she never knew she had, and resents the woman who doesn’t act like a mother should. Later in the book, when she undergoes a difficult situation and has to use her wits and her strength of will to outwit a villain, she constantly has to trust her instincts to get her through it all. In an early chapter she remembers her best friend’s advice: Everything comes right if you believe in yourself. She recalls this at the end of the book when indeed, everything has, and she is about to get her happily ever after.
Who are your favorite authors? Which books do you constantly re-read?
My list is endless when it comes to favorite authors, but I adore Mary Balogh because of the feelings she can evoke in her readers. I also admire Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Beverly Jenkins, and Sarah MacLean. I admit to not re-reading books because there are too many books I haven’t read, and I also have a list of authors that are auto-buys who do not necessarily write historical romance. These are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susanna Kearsley, Karen White, Nora Roberts both as herself and J.D. Robb, and Jayne Ann Krentz.
I also like John Lescroat (cop and courtroom thrillers), and Randy Wayne White (sailing thrillers). I could go on and on but I won’t.
We have a lot of new authors who follow my blog. What would be your advice to new authors who need motivation to finish their book?
Before I began writing fiction, I joined a writer’s group (Romance Writers of America), took online classes, and read craft books. All this was good preparation. My best advice though, is keep writing, even if you only have time for one paragraph or one page a day. If you can afford it, once you have a perfect first five pages and at least three or four chapters, enter a contest for unpublished writers. Choose one that give feedback. If the comments are consistent, pay attention. If not, shrug them off unless you tend to agree. I found my current publisher through one of these contests. Also, it’s best to have the book finished. The field is pretty crowded these days and a publisher may not want to wait.
If you decide to self-publish, you must hire a professional editor to review your manuscript. I cannot stress this enough. You’d be surprised at what you miss, even after reading through a book several times.
Finally, be like my heroine in Scandal’s Deception. Believe in yourself.
Could you tell us a little about your other work?
I mentioned I spent several years as a newspaper reporter, then I went back to college, got a master’s degree and worked in city governments that had the council-manager form of government, retiring as a City Manager. That’s when I began to write full time. I have a contemporary series called Love in the Wine Country, based on characters in my own family as well as people I met while living in Sonoma, California. There are six books in this family saga covering the lives of the Reynoso cousins—three girls, three boys—who work in the wine industry. There are also five novellas set in a Sonoma coastal town with some overlapping characters.
My other historical series is Mission Belles, going back to my first love, California history. Two books are in this series, set in California just before the gold rush, when it was still part of Mexico and about to go to war with the U.S.
Scandal’s Deception is the fourth book in the Regency series, with lots of familiar characters in each book. I’ve tried to create a world so there can be more books in this series. Scandal’s Redemption, the other twin’s book, will be released next spring.
Thanks so much, Pamela, for taking the time to answer our questions, and we look forward to reading more of your work.