LAW OF ATTRACTION (Scandalous Scions: Book 5.0)
Her husband will divorce her for adultery, no matter the cost or the ruin it will deliver.
Knowing their love was doomed, Jenny accepted the the Duke of Burscough’s pragmatic and loveless proposal of marriage to force Jack, Baron of Guestwick and heir to the Marquess of Laceby, to marry as his family wished.
Now Burscough is determined to divorce Jenny in an outrageously scandalous and public manner, while the newspapers paw over her secrets and speculate about her morals and values, as well as those of the family who raised her.
It is no longer simply a matter of whether Jack and Jenny can ever be happy together. Now, the great family itself is under attack. Can it survive the public disgrace?
Law of Attraction is the fifth book in the spin-off series following the historical romances of Scandalous Sirens. Scandalous Scions brings together the members of three great families, to love and play under the gaze of the Victorian era’s moralistic, straight-laced society.
Reader Advisory: This story contains frank sex scenes and sexual language.
If you are familiar with the previous series, I am sure you fell in love with the huge family like I did.
EXCERPT FROM LAW OF ATTRACTION
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2018
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Jenny came upon the pair in the dark back entrance. Someone—probably one of the staff—had strung mistletoe from the candelabra. Two darker shadows were standing right beneath it and close together. Their mouths were together.
Shocked, Jenny came to a halt. She watched the two shadows shift against each other as they kissed, her heart doing a little dance faster than the beat in the ballroom at the other end of the house.
It didn’t occur to her to creep away and leave them to their privacy. She had never seen anyone kissing before and the novelty of it kept her pinned to the spot.
The woman made a soft sound and tore herself away from the man. “Ye might have announced yerself,” she said, brushing her satin ballgown back into place. She moved toward the door behind Jenny and Jenny finally got to see her face. It was the red-headed daughter of the local magistrate, Eileen McLeod.
“I suppose you’ll tell Mama now, hmm?” Jack moved out of the shadows, too. He gazed after Miss McLeod as she flounced down the hallway. He didn’t seem to regret her departure a great deal.
Jenny gripped a fold of her skirt. “I am not inclined to tattle, for the sake of it. Is there a reason why I should tell Mama?”
Jack leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms. He seemed relaxed and unconcerned that Jenny had caught him in such a compromising position.
For the first time she consciously noted how tall Jack was and how broad his shoulders were beneath the broadcloth jacket. His cravat was snowy white and perfectly arranged. He wasn’t wearing gloves…which was just like Jack. He removed his gloves at the first opportunity. It was a marvel his cravat was still in place.
Only Miss McLeod, the magistrate’s daughter, would have found the lack of a cravat too crude to tolerate, most likely. Jack was good at measuring the temperament of people. At least, he normally was.
Jenny brushed down her skirt. It was a lovely flounced dress, made of Kirkaldy tartan. Mama wouldn’t let her wear satin until she came out next summer. “If you must kiss a lady, Jack, then you should avoid kissing Miss McLeod.”
Jack’s brow lifted, even as he laughed. “Is that so? Why, pray tell, should I not kiss Miss McLeod? She is pretty and plump and smells sweet.”
“You would grow to despise her, that is why.”
Jack’s humor faded. “What makes you think I would linger in her company long enough to allow such hard feelings to grow?”
“That is where you have failed to measure the focus of your…affections,” Jenny told him. “Have you forgotten the way Miss McLeod fawned after William for almost two weeks, when we first arrived here?”
Jack’s expression was sober as he considered her. “I had,” he admitted.
“Miss McLeod is the type of woman to interpret a kiss as a signal of far greater significance.”
“Most women are,” Jack pointed out. “That is why one must pick one’s…”
“Victims?” Jenny supplied sweetly.
“The focus of one’s attentions,” Jack amended. “It isn’t wise to kiss just any girl,” he added.
“Why kiss a girl at all?” Jenny demanded. “You cannot marry them all. Most especially, you cannot marry Miss McLeod.”
Jack’s eyes danced. “That, little Jenny, is not a question I intend to answer. I am surprised you must ask at all.”
“Oh, I like kissing, too. Only—”
“You do?” Jack asked, startled. “Who kissed you?” he demanded, his tone growing harsher. Abruptly, he was big brother Jack, the elder brother who had always been there to sooth bruises and scrapes and tease her about liking reading too much. Jack, who always asked her to hold his croquet mallet between strokes, because she always stood on the side of the court to watch his matches.
Jenny laughed at Jack’s fierce protective expression. “As if I would tell you such a thing!” She recalled the dry, hesitant touch of…what had his name been? He had been the son of one of the Truro families and had been working in the stables during one of the Great Gathers. She couldn’t remember his name or even his face, now, although at the time, she had trembled at the idea that a boy liked her.
His kiss had been dry and innocent, yet the sensations it had generated had not been. Jenny had recalled the kiss many times, remembering the heat of his body so close to her own. The rush of his breath, fanning her face. The softness of his lips. The smell of him, which had been unexpectedly pleasant.
Jenny had decided that she would like to experience another kiss, only from a different source. She looked up at Jack now and smiled. “I understand why you might like kissing ladies. I only ask why you bother trying when so many complications follow a kiss.”
Jack relaxed. “Perhaps I seek to improve my methods.”
That was a novel idea. Jenny considered it, pursing her lips. “Then Miss McLeod is twice as unsuitable.”
Jack laughed. He lifted his chin to point down the corridor behind her. “I’ll walk you back to the ballroom.”
“I’m tired of the dancing.”
“That is not why I will escort you back there,” Jack told her. He took her elbow and turned her. “I am curious to know which ladies are suitable for kissing and which ladies are best to avoid.”
Jenny walked beside him. “Why?” she demanded. “If I say Lady Elspeth meets the standards necessary for kissing, will you then kiss her?”
Jack grimaced. “With her lack of chin and horse teeth? Perhaps a degree of prettiness should be one of the standards.”
“Discretion, prettiness and a sensible attitude,” Jenny murmured.
“Not too old, nor too young,” Jack added.
“Not married or engaged,” Jenny added.
“Certainly not married,” Jack replied. “That is a complication beyond my tolerance, and husbands have a habit of shooting first. Engaged young ladies, however…”
“Jack, how despicable of you! Hunting a lady who is already promised!”
“Why not?” Jack asked. “Most fiancées are anxious to understand what awaits them on their wedding night. They are most grateful to learn a part of the truth and as they are already promised, one can disentangle themselves without complication.”
Jenny shook her head. “That is callous.”
“Oh, I agree it is calculating,” Jack said. “How can it be callous, though, if both parties benefit from the arrangement?”
Jenny struggled to find an answer. The ballroom was growing closer. “Very well, then. Engaged young ladies can also be considered,” she said, although she felt as though she was stepping upon morally ambivalent ground.
Jack pressed his hand against her back, guiding her around a group of dancers as they spilled out into the corridor in search of refreshment. “One important consideration,” he began.
“She must read books?” Jenny guessed.
Jack smiled at her as he settled her at the edge of the ballroom. “Precisely.” He waved toward the mass of couples upon the dance floor. “Now, Miss Jenny, whom among the eligible ladies you see are suitable for me to kiss?”
Wow, as soon as I started Tracy Cooper Posey’s first book in her new spin off I was hooked.
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The Scandalous Scions Series offers a wonderous expierence of a coming together of 3 singular families finely knit together as one intimate family! In one week I have read half of those available! I find myself bonding with these fervent, dedicated heroes and heroines. Their love, empathy, and compassion sets my heart on fire! I find Tracey Cooper-Posey books to be examples of the end results of knowledge obtained from the intellectual research at the highest level of Social History!!
Great read! What could be more scandalous in this time but divorce? Through a series of flashbacks, the author weaves a tale that explains Why the divorce is requested, but underneath there is a larger scandal, a surprising villain and an unexpected ending to another great instalment in this series.
Can there be enough scandals? The great family is a master at it. And Jack and Jenny take the lead as they fall in love but refuse to be happy together. I like all the little snippets about the new romances, but this couple deserved to be together more than anyone. It’s getting more complicated as the spider web grows, so I suggest reading this series in order. It really just gets better.
Divorce - not a topic you usually see in a series like this. It’s not an inconsequential thing nowadays, but in Victorian England it required an Act of Parliament. And didn’t happen without a huge scandal involving the press and public condemnation. And dragged the whole family (or in this case families) into its wake.
I know this is a different time but it made me mad to remember that a man could have affairs with impunity but a woman doing the same was grounds for divorce for adultery. I was interested to see the intricacies of this explained in the story.
This is a dark story, no two ways about it. Jack and Jenny’s story has been playing out almost since the beginning of the series. What kept me on the edge of my seat was the clever way Tracy Cooper-Posey built the layers of the story, including Jenny’s husband. Not a straightforward guy at all. And that’s one of the things I love most about her writing. I’ve read a lot of her books in various different genres and the one thing that shines through each and every book is the skilful way she builds her characters and layers them with the plot to create a sumptuous reading experience.
There’s not much more I can say without giving spoilers away but I will say that a dark and murky story, involving multiple plot lines which all resolve themselves stupendously at the end. Including some I didn’t expect to see this book.
I can’t wait to read the next book and recommend this one to anyone who likes their historical romance with an edge of reality.
This has been my favourite story from this series by far. I wasn't sure how it would end, with some of the others I've guessed, but as usual it was 'scandalous' and entertaining. Keep 'em rolling!!!
Another great read to the Scandalous Scions family. This story is told in flashbacks on how, when and why Jenny has married the Duke of Burscough. Now the Duke has decided to file for divorce claiming Jenny has committed adultery. The question you have to ask yourself and read the story to find the answer to the most important question..........Why has The Duke who has a shadier past now decide to go this route. Is it to add more questions on the Family's more questionable integrity or is the Duke hiding something? You will enjoy this story and remember; it is being told in flashback so will be finding out more of the inside thinking of the people during this time period.