A Scandal to Remember

The Reckless Brides

Elizabeth Essex

St. Martin's Paperbacks

The rules of courtship are swept out to sea when a shipwreck offers a Reckless Bride a true taste of paradise…


In Elizabeth Essex's A Scandal to Remember, for too long, Miss Jane Burke’s father has taken advantage of her painstaking research. Heading to the South Seas to make her own name as a scientist despite the crew’s insistence that a woman aboard is bad luck, she isn’t prepared to be championed by a handsome ship’s officer who rouses longings inside her as wild as any storm…


For Lieutenant Charles Dance, a post on His Majesty’s survey ship Tenacious is just one more dutiful rung on the ladder of his career. Even a headstrong bluestocking on board is less troubling than the ship’s drunken captain—and the ferocious gales that drive the ship off course. Stranded on a remote island, passion blazes between them as hot as the sun, but it’s Jane’s love that Charles wants forever…


"A sophisticated blend of vivid historical detail, exquisite characterization, and delicious sexual tension." —USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean   


Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



H.M.S. Tenacious

Portsmouth Harbor

November 1815

Lieutenant Charles Dance was old enough and smart enough to know that some ideas were bad, right from the start. Some choices were no choice at all, especially when fueled by desperation. And some things were enough to drive a man to drink.

Except that his captain was already drunk, reeling about his cabin reeking of gin at ten o’clock in the morning. And they hadn’t even left Portsmouth dock.

“Who in the hell are you?”

“Lieutenant Dance,



Praise for A Scandal to Remember

Praise for Elizabeth Essex’s Reckless Brides series

Almost A Scandal


"Essex will have readers longing to set sail alongside her daring heroine and dashing hero. This wild ride of a high seas adventure/desire-in-disguise romance has it all: nonstop action, witty repartee, and deft plotting. From the bow to the mast, from battles to ballrooms, Essex delivers another reckless bride and another read to remember."—RT Book Reviews

"Elizabeth Essex will dazzle you with her sophisticated blend of vivid historical detail, exquisite characterization and delicious sexual tension. Almost a Scandal is a breathtaking tale of rapturous romance and awe-inspiring adventure!" —USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean

"Elizabeth Essex writes the perfect blend of fast-paced adventure and deliciously sexy romance. I couldn't put this book down! Almost a Scandal gets a place on my keeper shelf—I will read anything Elizabeth Essex writes!"—New York Times bestselling author Celeste Bradley

"The first book in the Reckless Brides Trilogy is a seafarer’s delight. Col and Sally’s high-stakes adventure is fast-paced and fraught with peril. Well-timed humor punctuates the action and the use of frigate-speak adds authenticity to the shipboard dialog. The love story teases the reader at first, as Col and Sally struggle to conceal their attraction on board the Audacious. Then things turn desperate when the circumstances of war seem intent on driving them apart. A smartly written, emotional tempest."—Reader to Reader Reviews 

"Elizabeth Essex has created a fascinating world peopled with fascinating characters. I didn't want this story to end and with the promise of more books in this series, it doesn't have to. Almost a Scandal is a joy to read."—Fresh Fiction

"Ms. Essex delivers romance at its finest; adventure-packed, passion-filled and totally satisfying. Teeming with adventure, passion, sexual tension, secrets, scandal, witty banter, romance, and love, this story is a delight and a definite keeper." —Romance Junkies

A Breath of Scandal

"Essex’s second Reckless Bride certainly suits the title. The bold heroine easily wins readers’ hearts, along with her officer and gentleman hero. Essex brings a breath of fresh and funny air to the Regency while her stylish writing and intelligent characters appeal to hearts and minds. Pure, delicious, sexy pleasure awaits readers." —RT Book Reviews

"Creating two very strong-willed characters and a mouthwatering romance, Ms. Essex has penned a deliciously compelling and heartwarming story that will keep the reader glued to the pages until the very end."—Lauren Calder, Affaire de Coeur Magazine

"Essex’s second Reckless Bride certainly suits the title. The bold heroine easily wins readers’ hearts, along with her officer and gentleman hero. Essex brings a breath of fresh and funny air to the Regency while her stylish writing and intelligent characters appeal to hearts and minds. Pure, delicious, sexy pleasure awaits readers." —Fresh Fiction

Scandal in the Night

"[A] sweeping plot, an over-the-top ballsy heroine, and a villain worthy of an Old Skool romance. This book was fun, barrels of it." —Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

"Essex seamlessly shifts the action in the story back and forth between the protagonists’ first meeting, in India, and their reunion, in England, and her third exotic, enthralling Reckless Brides historical romance is a potent combination of dangerous intrigue and sexy desire." —Booklist

"Scandal in the Night was a story of great talent and beautiful story telling… The retellings of the India parts left me longing to experience the life and culture of India for myself. Cat and Thomas had a relationship that was combustible and my only wish for this book is that I could have spent more time with these characters… The intrigue and subplot of this book was amazing. This is definitely a must read book for all of the historical romance novel fanatics out there." —Night Owl Reviews (4 ½ stars and a Top Pick!)

"Essex has taken her Reckless Brides on some unique adventures, delivering a fresh take on the Regency era. Full of romance, adventure, sensuality and mystery, and set against a lush backdrop, Scandal in the Night immerses readers in a nonstop story. Flashbacks enhance the plot, adding depth to the characters and the slowly unfolding mystery until readers are flying through the pages to uncover the truth and see the lovers united." —RT Book Reviews (4 ½ stars) "Poetically written with lyrical prose that has a great flow, Scandal in the Night is a joy to read, full of romance and a strong sexual tension that builds over time and remains through adversity to build to a future in a distant land that is as unexpected as it is welcome." —Reader’s Favorites
"Set sail with Essex as she cleverly pits a bluestocking against a stiff-upper-lipped British naval officer and lets the sparks fly. Essex spices her fast-paced tale with fascinating details of ships and sailing and adds plenty of sexual tension, high-seas adventures, danger and desire. Readers will be on the edges of their seats reading this latest Reckless Brides tale." -RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!)

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Elizabeth Essex

  • Elizabeth Essex is the critically acclaimed author of historical novels including The Pursuit of Pleasure, A Sense of Sin, and the RITA Award nominated The Danger of Desire. When not re-reading Jane Austen, sipping tea or mucking about her garden, Elizabeth can be found writing, making up wonderful stories about people who live far more interesting lives than she. It wasn’t always so. Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classical Studies and Art History, and then earned her MA from Texas A&M University in Nautical Archaeology, also known as the archaeology of shipwrecks.
  • Elizabeth Essex Kathleen Wilke
    Elizabeth Essex


Heroes and Heartbreakers.com



    Available Formats and Book Details

    A Scandal to Remember

    The Reckless Brides

    Elizabeth Essex



    St. Martin's Paperbacks