Updated: Jan 17
Yours in Scandal
by Lauren Layne
Published by Montlake
Book #1 in the Man of the Year Series
Fresh off being named Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year,
New York City’s youngest mayor, Robert Davenport, decides it’s time to strategize. Next move: a bid for the governor’s seat. In his way: an incumbent with a flawless reputation. He also has an Achilles’ heel: an estranged wild-child daughter with a past so scandalous it could be Robert’s ticket to victory. And a charm so irresistible it could be Robert’s downfall.
Rebellion is a thing of the past for Adeline Blake. As New York’s premier event planner, she’s all about reform and respectability. Then she’s approached by Robert to organize the party of the season. Curious, considering he’s her father’s most formidable opponent. And alarming, too. Because Addie can’t help but fall for the righteously popular candidate with the movie-star smile.
Now it’s Robert’s choice. Does he pursue a future that holds his legacy? Or the woman who holds his heart?
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy #ContemporaryRomance Feel Good
Yours in Scandal is the first book in the Man of the Year series, and Lauren Layne's newest book! I love Lauren Layne's romances, so I was so excited she released a book so soon after concluding her Central Park Series with Marriage on Madison Avenue. The Man of Year series will each star a man who has been recently labeled as Man of the Year by Citizen Magazine. This first book centers on the youngest New York mayor Robert Davenport, finishing up his second term, and on the fast track to run as Governor, and Adeline Blake, an up and coming Event Planner, and the daughter of the current Governor, and Robert's future opponent.
I really enjoyed Yours in Scandal. It's a short read. I was able to finish it in a day, but its a good book. It's not my favorite of Lauren Layne's work though. The story is great, it flows from different narratives nicely, and the story doesn't feel stagnant at any point. Lauren Layne knows what she is doing, and it's evident in all her work. I think the only thing that bothers me, is that Adeline and Robert's story is so short, they don't really have the time together is takes to build up to loving each other.
The characters are well-written and likable. It's easy to like Robert, a politician who believes in morals, and wants to make his late father, who was also a politician, proud. Charming, funny, and intelligent, you understand why Adeline falls for him. Adeline is a more complex character. She grew up in politics, like Robert, but her childhood was not good, leading her to distrust politicians as a whole. Her wild antics when she was younger are the biggest hurdle in this book. She falls for Robert, but knows she will destroy his career if he is seen with her. Robert knows this too. How they eventually overcome it is sweet, and satisfying for both characters, which I love.
Yours in Scandal may not be my favorite, BUT the story is great, and the characters are fun to read. Their wit and charm are evident in the dialogue, and the chemistry between Robert and Addie is there. It's a short, steamy but sweet romance that you won't regret picking up.
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Martin: "So. How does it feel to be listed in the same company as Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Hugh Jackman?"
Robert: "Utterly absurd. Actually, no. Make that painfully ridiculous."
Robert: "Explain to me why my relationship status is relevant."
Martin: "A single, twenty-something mayor-elect is a bachelor. A single, mid-thirties ex-mayor is just sad."
Addie: "Headache potential. I like to evaluate potential clients based on how many Excedrin I think I'll need at the end of the event."
Robert: "How am I doing on that scale so far?"
Addie: "To be determined."
Martin: "If anyone's got dirt on Brennan, it's her. And I'd bet both nuts she'd be the only one bold enough to spill the dirt."
Robert: "You had a vasectomy. Do you even need the nuts?"
Martin gave him the finger.
Robert: "Ah. Politics. I'm vaguely familiar."
Robert: "She's a client of yours?"
Addie: "I normally wouldn't confirm or deny, but since Mrs. Manchester already mentioned as much herself, she's hoping we'll take her on as a client, yes."
Robert: "I see. And how many Excedrin worth is she?"
He leaned forward and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper.
Robert: "I bet lots. Way more than me."
Addie: "Oh, trust me, that's very debatable."
Addie: "How is Mrs. Davenport?"
Robert: "She's great, thanks. Happy, healthy, shaking up with a not-so-secret boy toy in Florida."
He waggled his eyebrows.
Addie: "My kind of lady."
Robert: I'm a regular person."
Robert: "All right, fine. I'm exceptional."
Addie: "Points for honesty."
Robert: "Do you think I'm on a date with this woman?"
Addie: "Mr. Mayor."
Server: "No, sir, I do not."
Robert: "And why's that?"
Server: "She just called you Mr. Mayor."
Robert: "My thoughts exactly. Not very romantic, is it?"
Server: "No, Mr. Mayor."
Adeline rolled her eyes at him as the server filled both their glasses and left them alone once more.
Addie: "Do you flirt with everyone?"
Robert: "In politics we call it schmoozing."
Addie: "Well, schmoose someone else. I'm here to do a job."
Addie: "Honestly, how you've avoided getting dragged down the aisle is beyond me. You're like George Clooney before he met Amal."
Robert: "Maybe I just haven't met my Amal yet."
Robert: "Well, holy hell. Look who was finally released from the shackles of early matrimony."
Kenny: "If that's what you call a honeymoon, it's no wonder you're still single."
Kenny: "I can't stand Martin. I wouldn't tell him if a bird pooped on his shoulder."
Kenny: "I know what Addie Blake looks like. I may be married, but I'm not blind."
Robert ground his teeth.
Robert: "She doesn't look like that anymore."
Kenny: "No? Better with age?"
Kenny tilted his head back and laughed.
Kenny: "Oh my God. You've got a thing for her."
Robert: "I do not. I don't even ... I don't." he insisted with a glare at the still-laughing Kenny.
Robert: "Well, see, you're sort of proving my point. You don't mince your words around me. You don't get flustered. Hell, I'm not even entirely sure you don't dislike me. The fact is, Ms. Blake ... you're rather refreshing."
Addie: "You like me because I don't like you?"
Robert: "Could that have been ... a compliment?"
Addie: "If I ever compliment you, you'll know."
Robert: "If. Ouch."
Addie: "Don't worry. You strike me as a man who enjoy's a challenge."
Robert: "I can't figure out if you're being deliberately obtuse or if my game is really that stale."
Addie: "It was just dinner. Pizza."
Jane: "That's even worse! It's so intimate."
Adeline glanced over at her calmer friend.
Addie: "Please tell her there's nothing intimate about Italian sausage."
She winced as she caught herself.
Addie: "Yeah, I heard it."
Addie: "What the - How did you get in here?"
Robert: "Ah, so you did need pills." he said softly, pointing at the painkillers."
Addie: "Apparently, though surprisingly, not because of you." she said, dumping two white capsules into her palm and washing them down with water. She let out a groan when he ambled all the way into her office and plopped into the chair across from her.
Addie: "Surely you have somewhere else to be. Ribbons to cut, medals to reward?"
Robert: "You're extra sharp when you're hungover. I quite like it."
Robert: "Drink that."
Addie: "You could have bossed me around via email, you know!"
Addie: "You're paying me for a service."
Robert: "Tawdry phrasing, Ms. Blake."
Addie: "Only if you interpret it like a perv, Mr. Mayor."
He choked a little on his champagne.
Robert: "See, this is why I need you around. I don't think anyone's every called me a perv in my life."
Addie: "Did you seriously give your bodyguards the slip?"
Robert: "It's weird, they don't seem to approve of me trapping pretty women in darkened hallways while carrying booze."
Addie: "Very odd."
Addie: "Go ahead. Point, laugh, make judgments. Just be quick about it."
Finally, he managed to drag his eyes up to her face.
Robert: "I apologize."
Addie: "For what?"
Addie: "It's ridiculous. I know."
Robert: "What, ah - what are you supposed to be?"
Addie: "A nurse, obviously."
Robert: "Obviously. Actually, no. I had knee surgery a couple of years ago, and I distinctly remember the nurses looking not like that."
She snapped her fingers by her face.
Addie: "Mr. Mayor. Up here."
He let out a laugh and ran a hand through his hair.
Robert: "Sorry. I just ... Are you wearing anything under that? No. Don't answer that. What were you saying?"
Addie: "Actually, how are you even here? I know for a fact I've never given you my home address.
Robert: "Perk of being the mayor?"
Addie: "A legal perk?"
Robert: "We'll call it a loophole."
Addie: "Is it something to do with Rosalie -"
Robert: "Goddamnit, will you stop bringing her up?"
Addie: "You're the one who asked for her phone number! And now I feel like you're mad at me for doing exactly what you asked."
Robert: "I'm not mad. I'm just ... What the hell, Adeline?"
Robert: "You want to know why I'm mad? It's because up until you gave me her phone number, I could believe that you felt what I was feeling. That you thought of me as often as I thought of you. That you enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed yours."
He lifted his hand to her face and lightly dragged the tip of his finger from the base of her ear along her jawline until it rested under her chin.
Robert: "You see, when a woman sets a man up with her friend, he has no choice but to think her indifferent to him. To assume that it doesn't bother her in the least to think of him dating her friend, kissing her friend, making love to her friend."
He stepped closer until there were mere inches separating them.
Robert: "Rosalie is all the things you said. There's just one problem."
Addie: "What's that?"
Robert: "She's not you."
Robert: "Please what?"
She bit her lip and remained stubbornly silent.
Robert: "Please what?"
Her eyes closed.
Addie: "Please touch me."
Robert: "Please touch me ... who? Say my name, Adeline."
Addie: "Mayor Davenport."
He let out a surprised laugh.
Robert: "Good enough. For now."
Addie: "Politicians aren't exactly known for their exemplary personal lives. Mistresses have been fairly de rigueur throughout our history."
Robert: "Jesus. This was a fucking mistake."
Addie: "Mr. Mayor ..."
Robert: "See, that's the problem. You've got it in your head that all politicians are shit, and that's all you see me as, isn't it? An elected official, a figurehead."
Addie: "You are an elected official. You're the mayor. A governor hopeful. A for-life politician, who'll never not be in the spotlight."
Robert: "I see. And I'm not worth the burdens that come with that?"
Addie: "We're so different."
He reached out and plunged his hands through her hair, tilting her face up to his, his eyes burning into hers.
Robert: "That's just the thing, Adeline. I don't think we're all that different. I'm not a machine, and I'm not a puppet. I'm a man. I breathe, I think, and damn it, I feel."
He dragged his thumb over her lip, before he took a step back and released her.
Robert: "I'm a man. Figure out what you want to do about that."
Addie: "Mr. Mayor -"
Robert: "Still with that? You've seen me naked. I think we're in a first-name kind of place."
Robert: "Jesus, Addie. You're ... you're ..."
Robert: "Want something?"
Robert: "Please, who?"
Addie: "Please. Robert."
Robert: "I like you looking like that."
Addie: "What, naked? Shocking. I'm sure you're the first man to prefer a woman without her clothes."
Robert: "Naked. With my mark on you."
Addie: "You're his bodyguard, Charlie. You had no issue with him wanting to hang out up here in the catwalk of a theater?"
Charlie: "Oh, I had plenty of issues."
Robert: "I thought you'd be happy. You don't have to worry about me getting shot up here."
Charlie: "Right. Because nobody's ever been shot in a theater."
Robert: "Don't be macabre, man. Also, go away."
Robert: "See, that's what you do when you have a crush on a really cute girl. You learn everything you can about her so you can make her happy. You know, it just occurred to me. I think you had a hell of a crush on me, too."
Addie: "Check your ego, please, Mr. Mayor."
Robert: "You did. I mentioned that I wanted my parties to be more fun. You made a mental note, remembered, and turned a black-tie event into a board game party."
Addie: "I made a mental note of your preferences, because you were literally paying me to make sure you were happy."
Robert: "And yet, I'm not paying you now. But here you are, making me very happy. Like I said, hell of a crush."
Addie: "Robert. Can you look me in the eye and tell me that being with me - in public, for real, for everyone to see - can you tell me that won't hurt your career? That being the guy who slept with his opponent's loose-moraled daughter won't cost you the governor's seat and any other elected position?"
He dropped his head in defeat.
Robert: "No. No, I can't say that."
Addie: "An can you tell me that it doesn't matter? That is wouldn't hurt you to give that up?"
He squeezed his eyes shut, unable to look at her.
Addie: "I know." she whispered, leaning down and brushing her lips over his cheek. He opened his eyes, just in time to see her hand setting something on the desk between his splayed palms. He stared at the small thumb drive.
Robert: "What's this?"
Addie: "You already know. It's the reason you hired me in the first place. Everything you need to bring down Governor Brennan. Pictures, a couple videos, a written statement from my mother, the falsified death certificate."
His head snapped up.
Robert: "I stopped wanting this a long time ago."
Addie: "So do it for me. You're going to make a hell of a governor, Mr. Mayor. And I can promise you'll have at least one vote from the Manhattan district."
Robert: "I don't want your damn vote, Addie. I want ... you."
Addie: "I'm done hiding who I've been and who I am, which means I'd only ever be a liability to him."
Jane: "How do you know?"
Addie gave a pained smile.
Addie: "Because I asked him. And he let me walk away."
Robert: "It's always been the plan. Mayor. Then governor. Maybe a brief stint as an Avenger, if Marvel ever calls me back."
Robert: "What can I say? I met this woman who's made me rethink the appeal of a scandal."
Addie: "Oh, this isn't a scandal. This is small-time. They'll forget about it by next week."
Robert: "Huh. Any interest in giving them something to gossip about for years? Addie?"
Addie: "Ah, what the hell. Let's give them something to talk about."
Addie: "Good speech."
Robert: "I thought so. You have a favorite part?"
Addie: "Hmm. You said something about Addie Brennan. And how much you cared about her?"
Robert: "Did I? I must have messed that part up. What I meant to say was how much I love Addie Blake."
Addie: "See, now that would have been a great speech."
Robert: "Allow me a redo, then. I love you."
Addie: "Robert. I don't want you to give up anything for me."
Robert: "I'm not giving up anything. I'm gaining everything. Assuming, of course, there's any chance you could love me back? Someday? Addie? Do you think ... Is there any chance ...."
Addie: "That I could love you? Maybe someday ..."
Robert: "It better be someday soon. Otherwise I'll have to marry you so I have every single day to try to convince you to love me back."
Addie: "You convinced me. You convinced me a long time ago."
Addie: "I really do love you."