Review: How to Start a Scandal by Madeline Martin

Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Historical (July 21, 2020)

From  From Waterloo…

…to the spotlight of the ton !
Days after returning from the battlefields, Seth Sinclair finds himself in a glittering ballroom with one tedious task: finding a wife. He must put aside the military and prove his worth as the new Earl of Dalton. The only problem? Lady Violet Lavell, the one woman he can’t keep his eyes off, who knew him before he went to war. How can he be worthy of her now that he’s become so changed by the horrors of battle?


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I love a good story with PTSD suffering hero (this is probably due in part to the fact that my own husband lived with the disorder). Seth is everything I expected him to be - and I loved the added touches the author used to show how he was silently suffering from the unseen wounds of battle. From the way the sounds of drums and an overly hot ballroom could bring him back to the battlefield, to the way he couldn't describe the horror of what he had seen to anyone else, it was all the little details like this that brought this character to life. 

When paired with Violet, it was easy to see how she calmed his soul and I thoroughly enjoyed their interactions with each other (even though at times her character annoyed me with her complaints about her body and the way she first intended to use Lottie to help herself). I just wish the other characters had been as thoroughly fleshed out and brought to life as those two. This extends to the "villain" of this piece who never seemed to be more than one-dimensional, his part in the story somehow managing to feel rushed even though he is mentioned throughout the entire story. 

This was still a very engaging story that I believe will be enjoyed by those who enjoy historical romances. In fact, I am hoping to see more of Seth's sister Caroline in a future book as I am curious if she ever manages to bring her love interest up to scratch (I am also interested to see how Lottie manages to help a male instead of a female in the pursuit of love). I would read more from this author!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                            How to Start a Scandal is available from

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