Overworked London banker David Hawke has two goals for his week in the seaside town of Brighton: one, demand repayment of a debt without losing a valued friendship and two, relax for the remaining holiday without further distractions—except he encounters his friend’s newly confident younger sister. Abigail Watson is flirty, bold, and determined David will agree to her bargain and save her brother from debtor’s prison. But is her game to prevent him from calling in the debt, or are her sweet kisses a sign she is after a much greater prize instead?
David Hawke has a serious problem: he has to foreclose on the house of his next door neighbor and friend. What should have been a much-deserved and relaxing week at his Brighton home has turned into something far more serious and far, far from relaxing. David Hawke has another problem: apparently while he was away working in London for the last year, Abigail Watson, the sister of the soon-to-be-foreclosed-on neighbor has grown up and oh, is she a sight!
Abigail Watson has a problem: her family home is about to be foreclosed on because her loving though seriously worthless brother has a gambling problem. Abigail is a smart girl and thanks to a little clever snooping, she already has a plan in the works to get she and her brother out of financial trouble. Abigail Watson has another problem: The man coming to foreclose on she and her brother is David Hawke, her handsome, confirmed bachelor next-door neighbor whom she has had a crush on for years. What is a girl to do?
Well, if that girl happens to be Abigail Watson, then she takes her destiny in her own hands and sets out to fix everyone’s problems, including her own. First, there is the matter of marrying her brother to a wealthy woman so they can keep their family home, next is the matter of attracting the attention of David Hawke without compromising her reputation and, finally there is the matter of ensuring that no one knows precisely what she is up too until the time is right. That last part would have be a lot easier to do if Abigail hadn’t stolen and read the foreclosure note from David, gotten caught by him and, then kissed his socks in a moment of pure abandon. Oh, dear Abigail!
I have to say, this little regency read kept me turning pages and grinning from ear to ear from the very beginning. I love novels (in this case a novella) when a woman is ahead of her time and Abigail Watson certainly is. Rather than fall in line with societal custom and marry for status and wealth rather than love, Abigail has chosen to pursue the man who captured her heart years ago. David is a wonderful character who truly struggles with the task of foreclosing on his friend as well as managing his growing feelings for his much younger neighbor. But alas, even this confirmed bachelor is no match for Abigail Watson!
The Bottom Line: I am apparently a huge sucker for this type of read. Miss Watson’s First Scandal has a little bit of everything I love: a strong-willed and intelligent heroine, a kind and caring man (he takes in a stray puppy for cryin’ out loud!), fun secondary characters (Imogen!! Wait ‘till you discover her secret), a period piece (regency in this case) and, a nice little cliffhanger guaranteeing I will be back for round two of the Miss Mayhem novella series.