This post contains spoilers for all books in the Scandal & Scoundrel series by Sarah MacLean and heavy speculation on what's to come in The Day of the Duchess.
Sarah MacLean’s Scandal & Scoundrel series is loosely based on modern celebrity scandals, complete with gossip rag columns sprinkled throughout. As with modern scandals, we readers don’t know the full story or probably even half of the story. But isn’t it delicious to speculate? Let’s do.
The next installment in the series is The Day of the Duchess, featuring the Duke and Duchess of Haven, Malcolm and Seraphina. In the first book, the heroine, Sera’s sister Sophie, pushes the Duke into a fish pond at a garden party after a very public row… after she catches him with someone who is very much not Sera. It causes a scandal that compels Sophie to dash off into the country, get shot, get married, etc. That shove is really the catalyst for the plot of The Rogue Not Taken. To say it’s memorable is an understatement.
In book two, A Scot in the Dark, the heroine, Lily, has become a friendless outcast, until she meets the Soiled S’s. Like the modern day Kardashian sisters, the Talbot sisters (Sophie, Sera, Sesily, Seline, and Seleste) fill the pages of the gossip rags in London. Sesily and Sophie in particular befriend our Lily, standing up for her during her own scandal. But where’s Sera?
Sounds like we’ll find out in The Day of the Duchess!
What We Know
SEE ALSO: The Day of the Duchess Stepback Reveal
At one time, Malcolm and Sera loved each other, but couldn’t or didn’t say it. Then Sera becomes pregnant and everything goes to hell. Malcolm believes Sera trapped him into marriage and essentially disowns her. He publicly cheats on her, calls her any number of names, and is generally a giant dickbag. This would appear to continue until the events of this book. In The Rogue Not Taken, Sera admits that she still loves him, even after his philandering and insults.
Haven needs an heir. This means that if a baby was born, it wasn’t male or that Malcolm didn’t claim it as his. Or both. Since Sera doesn’t want to help him out with the baby-making, he enlists her to help with wife-finding. And for some reason it has to happen over the course of a summer.
What We Don’t Know
What happened to the baby?
Did Sera miscarry?
Did she have a baby girl?
Did she have a baby and it died?
Did she have a baby boy and Haven is a true ass and deemed the baby a bastard?
Sera is absent in book two, which takes place roughly a year after book one. This tells me NOTHING. If it was two months later, I’d say “ohhh she’s missing because she lost the baby.” If it was 6 months later, I’d say “ohhh she’s missing because she’s in confinement or just given birth.” Sadly, no. She’s missing either because she has a wee babe (which I don’t think would prevent a Duchess from going to a soiree) or she’s sbsent because she’s sick of being ostracized. Speaking of…
What’s been going on for the last several years?
I mean, I wouldn’t want to go to a ball if my husband was in the library banging yet another widow. In this gorgeous stepback reveal a couple of months ago, Sarah MacLean wrote that several years pass between the first book and the third. We know from the book blurb that Sera wants her freedom. Her freedom to do what? To marry again? To have babies? To run away with the baby he doesn’t acknowledge who is now several years old? And where are her sisters?
I have confidence in Sarah. She will answer my questions. I just really need to know… How much is he going to grovel? It’s going to be a good one, I know. Possibly an epic grovel. The kind of grovel that takes two hundred pages to fully execute. The kind of grovel that will somehow make us forget that he’s a cheating, verbally abusive jerk.
What We Can Look Forward To
Knowing that Sarah MacLean writes fabulously romantic stories full of adventure and heat, I am eagerly awaiting this next book and the promise of a really good redemption. Beyond the grovel, here are a few things I’m looking forward to:
- Lovers to Enemies to Lovers. Who doesn’t love a good Enemies to Lovers story? Add in memories of when they actually liked each other and you’ve got an even more powerful hate/love dynamic.
- I bet we’ll get some backstory or maybe even a flashback or two! Knowing that they had a whirlwind courtship with genuine feelings of love before everything disintegrated, I hope Sarah has chosen to show us some of their initial romance.
- Time constraints and forced proximity. This time period in England was full of rules and stifling social mores. What could make characters fall over the edge into truly bonkers territory? More rules! Three months, you say? Forced to be with someone you loathe, you say? Bring it on!
- Sassy Soiled Sisters. The Talbot sisters are so much fun! You can tell Sarah loves writing them because they are such robust (sometimes ridiculous) characters. I am imagining scenes where Sera tells off Haven, flanked by her four furious sisters.
- GROVEL. I know I already said it, but it has to be a big grovel. Haven’s been awful.
So, what do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Did I miss key plot points in my pre-post refresher of the first two books?
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When not reading All of the Things, Suzanne is raising two small valkyries and trying to open a bookstore. Book, comic, and assorted other tweets at@suzannekrohn.