BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, March 26, 2015

REVIEW And GIVEAWAY: Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Format Read: ebook
Source: publisher in exchange for an honest review
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman's worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers. Robbed of her youthful ideals and at the center of scandal and tragedy, Jade ran as far and as fast as she could. But she never forgot the sleepy "company town" where every man, woman, and child was dependent on one wealthy family. And she never forgot their spoiled son, who, with his two friends, changed her life forever. Someday, somehow, she'd return, exact a just revenge -- and free herself from fear, and the powerful family that could destroy her. 

Bea's Thoughts:

Ah, revenge romances. Back in the 80s and 90s they were popular. I glommed quite a few. Young naive girl, usually from a poor or lower middle class background, vows revenge on someone who hurt her or her family, usually someone wealthy and therefore evil; she leaves town but comes back years later, rich, successful and hellbent on exacting revenge. Of course, she falls in love, but not before enduring a vile threat. "Breath of Scandal" which originally released in 1991 fits right in that paradigm. It's trashy and tropey and lots of fun. 

Approximately the first half of the book is set up: meeting Jade, her mother, her best friend, and her boy friend, then the tragic event, and its aftermath. Then we detour and spend a significant time on someone seemingly unrelated to the story. I got impatient reading that part, trying to figure out where that person fit in. Once I did, I was less impatient but it was an abrupt and confusing transition.

I have to admit the book showed its age at times, especially the attitudes toward women and the behavior of our hero, Dillon. He's quite aggressive and blames Jade for his physical reaction to her, and doesn't listen when she tells him to stop kissing:

"No," she whispered. "Please"
She didn't mean please stop. She meant please continue. Because, even though she had prefaced that please with a no, he sensed her excitement......(more rambling on why he believes her to be excited and she really wants it)..."No, Dillon," she whispered. 
"You don't mean no."

Yes, this is our hero, the good guy. He has a few more moments of such douche bag behavior but for the most part, he really is a good guy and I liked him. He caught a bad break, lost people he loved, and he's been punishing himself ever since. Jade has closed herself off from men since being attacked, allowing herself to be close to just a small circle of people, most of whom don't know what happened. They both  have to learn to open up and to trust. All these years later, Jade has a big secret, one that could blow up and hurt her.

The attack and it's aftermath were handled beautifully by Brown. The police attitudes, the investigation, the small town gossip and later, Jade's difficulty with men, her attempt at therapy, and eventually her and Dillon's lovemaking were done with care and sensitivity.  Dillon's mighty wang does not cure all, which made me happy, and for being such a douche bag earlier, he shows amazing patience and gentleness.

When Jade finally returns home to exact revenge Brown slips in some surprises. The final resolution was a bit too convenient and pat but she got her happy ending and I got a story that I enjoyed. Some of the characters were cardboard and cliched but I was caught up in the story. I cared about Jade and Dillon and wanted to know how things played out. If you're looking to escape for a few hours, want a quick read that will keep you entertained, pick up "Breath of Scandal".



Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), CHILL FACTOR (2005), WHITE HOT (2004), & HELLO, DARKNESS (2003).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.

A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.”

In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.

Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Find Sandra online:

5 winners will each win a trade paperback of Breath of Scandal + a signature Henri Bendel candle. Ends April 2nd.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. A great feature and giveaway. I have read a few of Sandra Brown's novels. This book sounds compelling. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Great review, Bea! This sounds like a fun read and I love small town settings! :)

  3. I've read one of her novels years ago but haven't picked her up again since, maybe I should. But preferably with a hero that knows that "no" means "no" ;)

  4. "trashy and tropey and lots of fun." I know exactly what you mean! I haven't read any Sandra Brown, and since the hero's behavior skates uncomfortably close to assault from the sound of it (What part of "no" don't you understand, mister?), I think this isn't where I want to start, but I'll keep her in mind.

  5. I had to scroll back up to see when the book was published. It does sound like one from back in the day. But, there maybe people looking for these again. ;)

  6. I used to love those romances. I used to love this author so I might even have read this way back when.

  7. I don't think I've ever read a Sandra Brown book but I do think I own one. I must go root it out! And really all you had to do was say this 'it's trashy and tropey and lots of fun'...sold!


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