As if she didn't have enough scandal following her around, Rose Barclay, the young widowed Duchess of Southdown collides with yet another in the form of handsome Scot, Steven McBride. When the very inebriated Mr. McBride passes out, her Grace sees no other remedy but her tend the unconscious man until her awakens from his stupor.
Steven McBride tends to drink himself into a daze rather frequently. The decorated soldier seeks to forget he misery and loss of war by gambling and womanizing, but when he wakes from his drunkenness to find the lovely Rose Barclay at his side, he is stunned and pleased by her.
Rose has been thwarted at every turn by the step-son who is trying to keep what was rightfully given to her by her deceased husband. Since becoming a widow, the rumors about so-called affairs have plagued the beauty as she tries to move on from her husband's death. Her immediate attraction to handsome Scot throws her for a loop when he claims she and he are betrothed, thinking he is helping her throw off the nosy press and ton. When Steven realizes that he would prefer his ruse of a betrothal become a truth, he and Rose seek a way to get what they both want without hurting the other.
Scandal and the Duchess (MacKenzies and McBrides 6.5) by the so talented Jennifer Ashley is quite the pleasurable read. There is just something about Ms. Ashley's Scots that suck me in every time. Her non-whiny heroines are a clincher as both Steven and Rose are a formidable pair. There hasn't been one book or novella is this series that I have not loved and place the series at the top of my list of favorites. I highly recommend Scandal and the Duchess, even for a quick read, it leaves an impression.