I recently listened to the Audible edition of Tessa Dare’s Do You Want To Start a Scandal after purchasing the Kindle edition and adding the audiobook at a discounted price.
Even though the basis of the plot utilizes a fairly common trope- the forced engagement- it is apparent even from the beginning that this is going to be a rather unconventional story. To begin with, a young child claims that he heard noises coming from the library in which our hero and heroine are discovered. But wait, there’s more- the aforementioned child then proceeds to imitate the noises he heard. This, of course, shocks the house party guests, but it had me doubling over with laughter.
It should be noted that although Charlotte and Piers were in the library together, they were not, as Piers so eloquently puts it, the “mystery tuppers”. However, he declares his intention to marry Charlotte to preserve her reputation. Charlotte is less than pleased with this development; her mother is a known schemer, and the consensus is that Charlotte has tricked/trapped Piers into marriage.
So, Charlotte does what any rational young woman would do- she tries to figure out who was trysting in the library. As she makes a list of suspects and tries to narrow it down, there are a series of unfortunate events that seem to be a clear signal that someone is displeased with Charlotte’s meddling and that they are willing to take drastic measures to stop her.
Do You Want to Start a Scandal is a hilarious book. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and I was very impressed with the way that Dare was able to insert modern pop culture references without being anachronistic. Charlotte and Piers work well together, despite their differences: Piers is very logical and orderly, and along comes this flippant young woman who completely unnerves him.
I would absolutely recommend Do You Want to Start a Scandal. I can’t even say the title without thinking of the song from Frozen. This book kept me guessing up until the end, and I thought that the mystery was resolved in a very clever and unexpected manner. I am looking forward to reading more from Tessa Dare in the near future!