The Art of Scandal by Regina Black Book Review
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Read the Disclosure here.
“Love would be so much easier if it were perfect…”
On the night of her husband Matt’s fortieth birthday, Rachel Abbott receives a sexy, explicit text from her husband that she quickly realizes was meant for another woman. Divorce is inevitable, and Rachel is determined not to leave her thirteen-year marriage empty handed. Meanwhile, Matt, a rising star mayor with his eye on the White House, can’t afford a messy split in the middle of his reelection campaign. They strike a deal: Rachel gets one million dollars and their lavish house in the wealthy DC suburb of Oasis Springs, as long as she keeps playing the ideal Black trophy wife until the election.
Then Rachel meets Nathan Vasquez, a very handsome, very lost twenty-six-year-old artist, and their connection makes Rachel forget about being the perfect politician’s wife. As Rachel reawakens Nathan’s long-dormant artistic aspirations, their attraction becomes impossible to resist. But secrets are hard to keep in a town like Oasis Springs, and Nathan has a few of his own. With the risk of scandal looming and their hearts on the line, they’ll have to decide whether the possibility of losing everything is worth taking a chance on love.
The Art of Scandal is a sizzling, conversation-starting debut about rekindling passion, the transformative power of art, and finding love in unexpected places.
Here is the potentially sensitive content that I observed while reading:
- Death of a parent
- Drug Use
- Panic Attacks
- Racism (Microagression)
- Sexually Explicit Scenes
Add me as a friend on Goodreads! Click here.
There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!
The Art of Scandal is a raw and honest love story. There’s an intensity to this story that will suck you in. This forbidden romance is between the mayor’s wife and a young artist and business owner. After striking a deal with her husband to stay in their complicated marriage, Rachel meets Nathan at a very low point in her life. She is drawn to him and even though her mind knows she should not complicate her life further, their paths cross time and time again. It’s sensual and the writing (overall) is incredible! These characters were so real and I have a hard time believing they aren’t, very vivid. These two try to steal moments together whenever they can. Each time they meet their connection strengthens and what was once a little fling, is more than either are prepared for. Rachel is the curator for the first charity show that Nathan’s art will be the focus of. Can they pull off this event with their feelings growing stronger every day as their lives become more entangled?
Rachel. Girl. You’ve been through it! I loved Rachel so much. Her marriage to Matt made me so furious! I loved how we get to see Rachel try to navigate all the complex social structures surrounding race, class, and agency with her daughter, her spouse’s affluent family, all the political posturing and all these damn secrets this woman is holding. She was complex and balancing too damn much all the time. I was tired for her. Her mental capacity is extra large to accommodate all these things at once. But she is strong and smart and resilient. She can literally handle anything. I am obsessed with her! What I really loved was seeing the woman she truly was after all the unfortunate events that she was involved in. Oh. I loved it. The retribution was sweet.
I love the language that Regina uses when talking about both Nathan and Rachel’s art. It was beautiful and transparent. Even for someone who couldn’t understand what a passion for art looks and feels like from the artist’s perspective, you will feel deeply for their respective struggles with it. Nathan’s complicated relationship with his family, especially his father, and his craft held so many painful truths for me. His soft heart had me swooning. He said things in this book that made me put my book down, giggle, pick the book back up and giggle some more. I love this MMC so much. My heart broke for him over and over as he tries to get close to Rachel. I loved their easy chemistry and their stolen moments. Phew… that lake house scene. Wow. Ultimately, I enjoyed his growth from beginning to end, he was always my favorite.
I have two questions for Matt though. 1) Where do you get the gall?! 2) How could you fumble Rachel!! Eegit. I swear.
The Art of Scandal is easily in my top 5 of the year. I highly recommend you give this one a read if you like forbidden romance! Thank you so much to NetGalley and the author for an advanced copy of this book for review!
This book does have a couple of open door scenes with minimal sexual content throughout.
Genre & Tropes
- Forbidden Romance
- He falls first
- Age Gap
- Close proximity
- Emotional Scars
“They faced off for a moment, and it slowly tipped into something dangerous. Like she was a sharp curve, and he was debating whether to accelerate or pump the brakes.”
“Rachel was a feeling. She was the reason he woke up every morning and checked his phone with his heart in his throat….she was a spark that made him want to draw again. He wanted to fill the empty sketchbooks he’d been ignoring for months with renderings of her face.”
“I plan on being down here awhile, so I think we’re good… Do you trust me?… I want to learn you… Show me, Rachel.”
“Talking to her was like finally finding someone who spoke the same language.”
“How could she look at him as if he were oxygen one minute and hold her breath the next?”
“I want all of it… All your secrets. Every filthy last one of them.”
“Nathan remembered thinking that she was beautiful in that unrealistic way that reminded you some people were God’s favorites: flawless skin, full lips, big dark eyes.”
“You’re not much of a talker, are you?” “I’m a better listener.”
Check out The Art of Scandal on Amazon here.