Review of Prelude to a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle + Giveaway

Filed in Blogoversary , Delilah Marvelle , Giveaways , The Latin Lover Posted on January 18, 2011 @ 12:00 pm 54 comments

We are delighted to welcome today historical romance author Delilah Marvelle who will share with us her review of her own book: Prelude to a Scandal! It’s not everyday that you can read a review written by the author of the book themselves, so I hope you’ll enjoy this unprecedented review! Stay tuned till the end for your chance to win a signed copy of Prelude to a Scandal, the first book in Delilah’s new historical romance series!

Delilah Marvelle reviews her own book, Prelude to a Scandal

I’m good at shredding myself apart and what better way than to do it publicly? Heh. Okay, so let me start with why I wrote PRELUDE TO A SCANDAL and break it down from there. I wrote this book because after reading Casanova’s memoires and MY SECRET LIFE, I realized that these two men had serious sexual issues similar to what we today call sex addiction. And so my hero, Bradford, was born. Writing a hero who was going to be a sex addict was stepping into territory I knew a lot of historical romance readers were going to cringe at.
Yes, the hero is a bit of a pervert. It’s his dark side. It’s his addiction and doesn’t make him likeable at all. The man had to grow on me, actually, and I struggled to better understand him while incorporating the reality of sexual addiction. Sex addiction is like any other form of addiction. It includes mood swings, binges, secretly hiding one’s addiction from loved ones and self-esteem issues. Most addicts can’t and won’t admit to there being a problem until it severely impacts them and those around them. In Bradford’s case, it was seeing a woman brutally raped and having his face sliced open that made him realize his life was getting out of control. So…let’s get cracking on my review, shall we?

From Goodreads: Lady Justine is willing to trade her good name, her reputation and her place in London’s gossip-hungry ton to secure her father’s release from prison. But when the notorious Duke of Bradford counters her offer with a proposal of marriage, the stakes grow higher still. For while the smoldering lord is famous for his conquests, the man is oblivious to both her devotion and her charms. And Justine is soon afraid she has wagered all for naught….

Review: I like this book. I don’t love it (my favorite books are actually ONCE UPON A SCANDAL and THE PERFECT SCANDAL), but I do like it. It’s the funniest out of all three books and has a little more bite than the rest. I like what it turned into despite the fact that I’m restrained by the historical romance box. I had to sugar coat things, because addiction is not something that can be tied in a pretty bow and set aside, but honestly, I tried not to sugar coat very much. Which will make people squirm. But hey, if you don’t squirm while reading about a sex addict, then I’m not doing a very good job about infusing reality into the story, am I? I interviewed several sex addicts in order to really dig into the head of my hero and boy was that ever eye opening. Very little hero material to work with. But then I love a good challenge. I eventually ended up loving Bradford because he tries SO HARD (no pun intended…) to be a good man and that’s what makes me give into loving him despite his addiction.

Okay, so, screw ups. I kick myself for not having fixed one particular boo-boo and that is, it took three weeks for the heroine to get to Africa. Not a measly two. Grumble, grumble. There’s always something and I do so much research it starts to blur. I was supposed to change it, but between editing all three books and having only a week at a time to do it, it just kind of turned into a blur. The joys of being a writer, I suppose. Nothing is ever perfect and nothing ever will be and readers are more than happy to point it out to you, lol.
Overall, I give my book a 4 out of 5 stars. Why? Because I had to sugar coat the issues to make it fit into the historical romance genre. I’m learning that despite my love and passion for writing romance, in the world of romance itself there is a cliff some readers aren’t willing to jump off of. My goal is to try to convince readers that jumping off a cliff is a good thing. Though I certainly have my work cut out for me, lol.



As noted above Delilah is offering 2 signed copies of her book Prelude to a Scandal to 2 lucky commenters
You’re also getting an extra entry for the main giveaway if you entered our Big Blogoversary Giveaway here.

All you have to do is either leave a comment regarding Delilah’s review (if you have read Prelude to a Scandal maybe share your thoughts and whether you agree with Delilah) or just ask Delilah a question.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please leave us a way to contact you.
(Email in blogger profile or twitter name – no way to contact you – no entry).
This giveaway is open worldwide!
Giveaway ends on Friday February 4th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

About Caro The HEA Lover

Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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  • pattepoilue January 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Ohh ok i'm very curious about the 'non sugar-coated' side of it. But i'm a romance lover first and i'm not sure I could bear the truth LOL

    I really like the hero and his struggles, you did a great job at showing how hard it was for him.
    I did enjoy reading Prelude to a Scandal…A LOT! I just couldn't stop reading.
    Now I'm all excited about starting book 2 *g*
    Thank you for agreeing to review your book Delilah.

  • Sara January 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Interesting blog, Delilah! 🙂 Did you interview any female sex addicts, or were they all male? Also, is sex addiction more common in males than females?

  • hotcha12 January 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm


  • hotcha12 January 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    wold love to win!!

  • Sara January 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Sorry, forgot to leave my email addy in my post above. I'm at sweetbrier at shaw dot ca

    Thanks for the great giveaway! 🙂

  • GeishasMom73 January 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Great post! As an author how do you come to terms with a finished book that has a mistake that wasn't corrected. Can you ever let go of the need to be perfect? Or do the little mistakes drive you crazy?

    Sounds like an awesome story!

    GeishasMom73 on twitter

  • Johanna R Jochum January 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I have not read this book yet! I'm very curious too read it now. Surgar coating? Hmmm, interesting! I'm adding this book to my list now! Thanks for a great post and sharing with us today!

  • Johanna R Jochum January 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    forgot to leave email


  • LSUReader January 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    What an interesting review, Delilah. It was a good review and now that I know more I believe I will read the book. I’m curious as to why you merely like this book, but love the other two books in your trilogy. (Sounds like Mommy is picking favorites here!) What gives?
    (Email in profile.)

  • Danielle Gorman January 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I can't wait to read this book. I would really like to see more of Bradford and if he overcomes his sexual addiction. I like that you decided to write about a topic that isn't written about much in romance. I like being able to see different stories.

  • Mikki-Manó January 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Hmm, the review sounds interesting. I like historical romances, so probably I will like Prelude to a Scandal once I read it (because I'm sure I will read it =)). I just can't decide if this "sex addition" and "pervert" mean a very passionately lovemaking or it doesn't xD
    Thanks for the giveaway =)
    mikki-mano @ hotmail . com

  • Jeana January 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    HHHmmm interesting. I can't wait to get my hands on this book now. I was interested in it before with the little bit i read about it elsewhere now i do believe i need to get my hands on a copy of this.
    I see this is part of a series, when are the other books being released so I know if i want to buy it and read it now or wait till all three are released and read them back to back to back?

  • Amanda J Evans January 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I love romance books although I have to admit haven't read this author as yet. It sounds like a very interesting read and it wasa very honest review by the author. I would be very interested to see how the sex addiction is covered in a historical work and hopefully if I am chosen a winner I will get the chance to find out.

  • Virginia C January 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Hello, Delilah! A new romance series from the "Marvelous Ms. Marvelle" is indeed a cause for celebration. Your amazing, intriguing, "nothing held back" review has made us all sit up and take notice! Now we all must read "Prelude to a Scandal" to see if we agree with your self-review. Will you self-review again, if asked? Would you recommend self-review to others? I wish you much peace and prosperity in this new year!

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    Entered Big Blogoversary Giveaway

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  • Chelsea B. January 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Hi there! 🙂 I'm looking forward to reading your new series! They have such beautiful covers!


  • jeanette8042 January 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    This books sounds like a wonderful read and your review makes me want to read it even more! I love humorous books and I enjoy how you point out you want to try to get readers to leave their comfort zone and try something different. That's what I love to do, especially when some books tend to blur together as time goes by.


  • Estella January 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I love historical romance and have not read this author yet.

    Did they have treatment for sex addiction back then?

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  • buddyt January 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I think you are probably right about sec addiction being a problem but from reading what you wrote, one could get the impression that this is a male thing only !

    Never hear of nymphomaniacs girl ?

    That would be sex addiction as well.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  • Anonymous January 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    One of my favorite reminders is that trailblazers leave a path for others to walk in.
    Thank you for being a trailblazer… keep up the good work Braveheart.
    Yvonne w/a DaniJo Avia

  • Stella (Ex Libris) January 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Delilah, I have to confess that you gripped me with your author's note at the beginning of Prelude. I found it intriguing to see that instead of giving us a usual, already explored plot you went and explored a bit controversal and completely unheard idea. I mean a sex addict hero! And I LOVED how you portrayed his suffering and I actually understood that this serisouly could be a sickness, which until now I thought that sex addictin was only an excuse used by those who couldn't remain faithful and stay monogamous. So thanks for such a novel and interesting idea, and I'm really looking forward to reading Book 2 and 3! 🙂

  • Robin K January 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I want to jump of romance cliffs! You need to do an unplugged book 🙂

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • Margay January 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Delilah, how do you come up with your characters?

    I entered the Big Blogiversary Giveaway


  • Jane January 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Delilah,
    I loved your Gallantry series and was wondering if someday you'll get to write the remaining books.

    I entered the Big Blogoversary Giveaway.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  • hotcha12 January 18, 2011 at 6:20 pm


  • Barbara E. January 18, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I'm not sure you should take off points for having "sugar coated" the issues, after all it is a romance book, you weren't writing a historical novel or biography. I think you're being a little hard on yourself, but I love that you gave your own book a review – that's so very unusual.


  • Delilah Marvelle January 18, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Whoo-hoo did I ever come late to my own party, lol.

    @pattepoilue, thank you so much for having me!!!

    @Sara, yes, I did interview one female sex addict. A lot of the behavioral and psychological impacts were very similar. It was sad and fascinating to see how it impacts their lives and others. And yes, it's more common in males. And about more than half of the sex addicts actually turn to more aggresive means of addiction, meaning rape and molestation. Obviously I played
    with the lesser evil…

    @hotcha12, welcome to the Shred Delilah Club, lol. I'm getting used to it.

    @GeishasMom73, I'm actually trying to let go of my need for perfection but it's very, very hard, because I'm anal about getting things done a certain way. Drives me crazy but if I keep at it, no book will ever leave my desk, lol.

    @Johanna, Thanks for posting!!!

    @LSUReader, lol, mommy is picking faves. What gives? It has to do with more than sugar coating. It has to do with the amount of time I had with the book. I would have liked more time with all the books, actually, but the first one, I had the least amount of time on because of things going on in my life and trying to meet the deadline.

    @Danielle G., So thrilled to hear you're up for something different! Be careful what you wish for, though, lol.

    @Mikki-Mano, I really walked the line between addiction and pervert. Because the addiction is gritty as heck and when it comes to romance, we try to make our heroes heroic and strong, not weak and pathetic and perverted, lol.

    @Jeana, It is part of a series and they come out back to back. Book 2, Once Upon a Scandal just came out today! And Book 3, The Perfect Scandal will be coming out Feb. 15th. All the books are connected, not by characters but by an object.

    @Amanda, Thanks for posting! My fingers are crossed you find out 😛

    @Virginia, thank you! And YES I would totally self review again. It was really eye opening to sit down and think about my book, stepping back from what I know it is and translate it into what I think it is.

    @Chelsea, thank you! Yes, the covers ROCK. I had HQN to thank. They did an amazing job and really brought out the characters for each book.

    @Jeanette8042, thank you for posting and it sounds like you're my kind of reader 🙂

    @Estella, great question. And no, there was no treatment for sexual addiction in 1829. They didn't really understand what it was. Sex addicts were just rakes. Which is what drew me into writing the story even more.

    @Buddyt, oh, totally!!! Female addicts totally existed. Except back in those times they were referred to as whores, lol.

    @Yvonne, thank you! Trailblazing leaves burn marks on one's hands and feet but I wouldn't trade these burns for anything in the world.

    @Stella, Thank you! I'm so, so thrilled you not only picked up Prelude but that you enjoyed it! *clapping hands*

    @Robin K, Yay for cliff jumpers! Someone hand this girl my book, lol.

    @Margay, How do I come up with my characters? Most of the time, I'd say, I don't know how, lol, but really, I do so much historical research, I come across characters all the time. I have a tendency to create my characters around real figures in history by combining them with various characteristic. And the rest is in my head…

    @Jane, I'm really hoping my current publisher or another publisher will give me an opportunity to finish the School of Gallantry series. It's always hard to take a series elsewhere. Publishers want a series to start with them and end with them. But fingers crossed that'll change!

    @Barbara E, Thank you!!! Yes, all authors are hard on themselves. We have to be in order to create books worth both our time and effort as well as the reader's time and effort. I'm still new at this game and growing with each book and by being tough on myself I make sure everyone gets the best of me 🙂

  • Diane January 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Certainly sounds like a good start to a series.

  • Teril January 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I am feeling scandalous wanting to read this book, and the series 😉 We all need a little heat to pass the cold winter season 😉

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  • Kaya H January 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I could use a little heat in the evenings, it is snowing 😉

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  • JenM January 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I know I'm in the minority, but I have absolutely no problem with darker subjects being raised in a romance. I usually alternate between romance and UF just because I need that darkness occasionally.

    Regarding your other series that isn't finished, if you can't find a publisher, you should consider self-publishing the remaining book(s). Especially if it already has an audience, you could probably do pretty well with it and because you get to keep most of the revenue, you can set the price lower to attract more readers who haven't otherwise heard of you.

    Best wishes with the new release – looking forward to reading it.

    jen at delux dot com

  • Cindy L January 18, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Delilah you have my attention after this review. Can't wait to read this one!


  • Pamela Fryer January 18, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I'm so happy for you and your wonderful successes! You've come a long way, baby 🙂

  • Kaetrin January 19, 2011 at 1:40 am

    What a fascinating premise – I'm pretty curious to find out what happens now.

    Would the heroine be a bit worried about not living up to expectations if she's with a former sex addict? If he's not interested will she take it more personally? If he says the sex is good, can she believe him?

    So many interesting questions – I'm looking forward to finding out the answers.

  • marybelle January 19, 2011 at 3:26 am

    When you put the word SCANDAL in a title I know right away I am going to enjoy it tremendously.

  • Danielle @ Romance Book Junkies January 19, 2011 at 7:11 am

    I loved Delilah's review. I was expecting a praise with every element of the story and a 5 star rating but she was really down to earth and honest.


  • Carrie at In the Hammock Blog January 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I would love to enter!! i've had my eye on this series! thanks so much!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  • Tore January 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Great interview. I would love to read this series. Please enter me in contest.

  • winnie January 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Really enjoyed reading the review! Very refreshing that the author reviews her own book and I really liked having a behind-the-scenes glimpse! 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  • Amy January 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I am very interested in reading this book. I love historical romance. They tie for my favorite type of book to read. 🙂 I will definitely try to pick it up whenever I can buy it.

  • BLHmistress January 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Delilah , I have a question if you had a chance to write any other genre what would it be?


  • Sugar January 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    ooooh sounds amazing! great interview.. I would love to know how the interviewing of the actual addicts was. Was it scary? was it weird? was it awesome? etc.. I love gory details 🙂


  • nicolesender January 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Enjoyed your honest review of your book. I'd really like to read it now that I have your perspective on it.

  • ClaudiGC January 21, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I don't mind jumping off the cliff from time to time! 🙂
    Your book sounds really great and interesting and I loved your review of your own book, very honest!

    claudigc at msn dot com

  • Blodeuedd January 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Lol, I love how you say that you like the book, but do not love it 🙂 But of course an author will like some of her books more than others

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

  • Darlyn January 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    sugar coat to the issue?it's kind funny to sugar coat. ;p interesting review.actually that is quite modest to give 4 because whenever I browse the Goodreads, most authors gave their own book a 5!no sarcasm here, just glad to know.And yes, I love historical romance.This could be a great collection too.LOL Thanks!

    darlyn225 at gmail dot com

  • Sheree January 23, 2011 at 2:34 am

    I suppose it depends on how graphic the rape and such are. I don't want to read about explicit violent acts against women in my recreational reading.


  • Maureen January 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I think it's a tough one to make a hero a sex addict but it does sound like a different type of story that makes you look differently at the rake hero.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  • Diane January 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I'm always looking for new authors to fall in love with! Thanks for putting this author and book on my radar.


  • natalie23 January 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Loved your review, I will have to read this book now.

    Have you ever had to abandon an idea because you could not make it fit in the historical romance box?


  • mbreakfield January 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Interesting review! I really enjoy humorous books and want to see how you make the hero of this one work.

  • Kelly M February 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I had the pleasure of meeting Delilah in January and she is totally FABUOLUS!!!
    Can't wait to read more of her stories..

    Kelly M

  • Aleetha February 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I thought it would be 5/5 like what another authors did

    This is the first time I read an author wrote the review of her own book. Fair enough

    I'd love to read this book. at gmail dot com
    twitter: @aleetha

  • lindseye February 4, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Not read the book but loved the review. Always difficult to critique one's work since all of the flaws are obvious though unknown to the reader unless highlighted.

    linze_e at

  • Delilah Marvelle February 6, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Omgosh, I was supposed to come back and answer again, wasn't I? I'm such a bad guest!!! LOL

    Thank you to EVERYONE — @Diane, @Teril, @Kaya H, @JenM — I may go down that route, though I'm still holding out that a publisher will finish the series 🙂 — @Cindy L, @Pamela Fryer, @Kaetrin, @Marybelle, @Danielle from Romance Book Junkies, @Carrie from In The Hammock Blog, @Tore, @Winnie, @Amy, @NicoleSender, @ClaudiGC, @Blodeuedd, @Darlyn, @Maureen, @Diane, @mbreakfield, @Aleetha, @Lindseye) Thanks all for posting even though I stopped answering, lol. You people rock!

    In answer to specific questions…
    @BLHmistress, what other genre would I write in if I could? I'd say paranormal. LOVE that genre. Jessa Slade is one of my new faves.

    @Sugar, yes, I was nervous as heck interviewing a bunch of sex addicts…but they were just as nervous being interviewed and so we found a common ground. Only one agreed to a phone interview. the rest wanted to keep it to email, which I totally understood.
    Aside from their "addiction" they were really nice. I was expecting freaks, lol, but they didn't act like freaks.

    @Sheree, I totally hear you. I'm squeemish myself, so you won't see me going too much off the deep end, lol.

    @Natalie23, I haven't abandoned an idea yet (thank God), but you never know when my luck is going to run out… 😉

    @Kelly M, hello, darlin!!!

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