The Vicar and the Village Scandal (Allen Abbey Romances Book 3)

Written by Rosanne E. Lortz
Review by Ray Thompson

When his cousin offers him the living of Allenham Church, Thomas Allen is surprised. His past conduct towards Crispin and his wife Eloise had been offensive, and though he had apologized sincerely and received forgiveness, the offer is remarkably generous. He has since reformed and taken holy orders, but will the congregation, familiar with his scandalous youth, be willing to accept him? Especially the father of Mary Bates, to whom he feels a growing attraction? And one that she seems to return. Thomas is making slow progress in winning over the villagers before a mysterious child is left in his care, and rumours begin to circulate that he is the father.

Set in 1816, ‘the year without a summer’, this is a story in which the virtues of repentance and forgiveness, compassion and patient adherence to duty, are richly rewarded, while the villains are exposed. Readers looking for a tightly written love story with likeable protagonists will find much to enjoy in the third in the Allen Abbey Romance series, and it is refreshing to find a Regency concerned with the lives of people far below the rank of the dukes and high-born ladies of the ton. Strongly recommended.