Secrets of a Proper Countess PDF ¿ a Proper Epub

Secrets of a Proper Countess Lecia Cornwall, a brilliant new voice in historical romance fiction, makes a truly spectacular debut with Secrets of a Proper Countess This Regency Era delight, written in the smart, sensually captivating style of Lorraine Heath and Elizabeth Hoyt, tells the story of a shy, retiring lady who lets her passions run wild while masked and in the arms of an infamous rakish Marquess a brief yet achingly romantic encounter that forever changes the rogue, who vows to find and unmask his mystery dream lover


10 thoughts on “Secrets of a Proper Countess

  1. says:

    At a masked ball, Lady Isobel Maitland lets herself free for the first time with a well known rake Phineas Archer, Marquess of Blackwood, with the mask Isobel can be free to do what she wants for one night Of course, she doesn t count of Phineas not forgetting her taste, but Phineas has his own mask to hide behind, that of a spy whom works for the British government, as a rake no one will give him a second look, but when Isobel enters his life he s willing to risk it all Sound a tad famili At a masked ball, Lady Isobel Maitland lets herself free for the first time with a well known rake Phineas Archer, Marquess of Blackwood, with the mask Isobel can be free to do what she wants for one night Of course, she doesn t count of Phineas not forgetting her taste, but Phineas has his own mask to hide behind, that of a spy whom works for the British government, as a rake no one will give him a second look, but when Isobel enters his life he s willing to risk it all Sound a tad familiar It should as this premise has been used many time in HR books through the years The rake not really a rake, but a spy Forced to be a rake while he really enjoys the sexual side of it falls for a innocent widow whose in a bit of trouble herself by her evil family out for their own riches and sport Trapped the widow can t get freed because someone she loves brother sister son daughter will be hurt Yup, very familiar That s what I felt as I read through the book, familiar and haven t I read this somewhere before Not that is a bad thing I have read premises much like this before, but in other cases the author made it their own, really pushed the limit Not so in Secrets of a Proper Countess The first pages really got me hooked and the author s voice was clear It s just the story plot was full of clich s used many times before that the author didn t really push outside the boundaries The lead characters Isobel and Phineas fell into the category also I never feltthen lust from them, nor a deeper understanding of their sudden love for one another At times I did see the author really try to step out of the shadow with actions of the characters, but quickly went back the the norm Plus, the rake as a spy line is an old one, give me something new like a spy whose just a spy, a norm everyday joe a spy shurgs Plus, the secondary characters ranage from wanting to smack them upside the head to TSTL All wraps up in a neat bow in the head, which is fine and good, but I just wantedFor a debut novel Lecia Cornwall did an okay job, but the book dimmed to quickly before it started to shine Perhaps her next book will shinewe shall have to wait and see


  2. says:

    If Lady Isobel Maitland is caught even speaking to an incorrigible rogue like the Marquess of Blackwood, she stands to lose everything she holds dear Strict rules in her husband s will ensure that if she remarries or even forms friendships her mother in law does not approve of, then she will never see her young son again But one night, in a dark garden at a masquerade ball, Isobel gives in to temptation, and lets an innocent flirtation turn into seduction.Phineas Archer, the notorious Marquess If Lady Isobel Maitland is caught even speaking to an incorrigible rogue like the Marquess of Blackwood, she stands to lose everything she holds dear Strict rules in her husband s will ensure that if she remarries or even forms friendships her mother in law does not approve of, then she will never see her young son again But one night, in a dark garden at a masquerade ball, Isobel gives in to temptation, and lets an innocent flirtation turn into seduction.Phineas Archer, the notorious Marquess of Blackwood, may hold the reputation as the worst rake in London, but as a spy for the crown, he merely plays the role of a fool to learn the most closely guarded secrets of the ton.As a new threat to England s success in the war against Napoleon emerges, Phineas must foil a plot to kidnap the exiled Bourbon heir to the French crown Every clue seems to lead to his mysterious lover, but while Phineas can spot trouble a mile off, and see through the cleverest of disguises, he cannot find any trace of his elusive femme fatale No man alive would imagine the prim widow Maitland could be his dream lover But behind the mask and the secrets, Isobel is everything Phineas has ever desired.My Musings Secrets of a Proper Countess is the debut historical romance by author Lecia Cornwall The story revolves around a not so merry widow, Lady Isobel Maitland, who lives under the protection and dominance of her late husband s family who uses her son as emotional blackmail to keep her and her money under their absolute control Our heroine was married at a young age to a man and family that despised her and her heritage, but coveted the money that she could bring to the union The only joy to come from the marriage was Isobel s young son whom she loves dearly, yet lives in constant fear of losing She is strong, yet demure out of necessity than by nature, and is constantly trying to live down her mother s notorious behavior, as well as come to terms with her own mother s abandonment at a young and tender age Every aspect of her life is ruled by her dead husband and her in lawshow she dresses, who she is allowed to socialize with, and it goes without saying that she is forbidden to form any new attachments, have love affairs, or consider marriage again in fear of never being able to see her son again However, the one thing that her in laws can t control are her thoughts and her secret desires, and she secretly desires the worst rake in London.Our hero, Phineas Archer, the Marquess of Blackwood is from an illustrious family and is in line to inherit a dukedom He is in his prime, and his grandfather feels that he has had enough time to sow his wild oats, and it is now time to retire his Rake status and start a family But he has secrets of his own he is an agent for the Crown and his Rake persona is not who he feels he truly is and longs to just be himself with someone therefore he has decided to retire from being a spy after one last assignment.Secrets of a Proper Countess has a great set of characters, including the heroine and the numerous villains, whom you just love to hate I especially thought that the character of Isobel was well written You could feel her despair, her desire, and desperation to break free if only for a few stolen passionate moments I just wish that I felt that I knew as much about the hero as I felt I knew about the heroine A hero can make or break a romance for me and Phineas Archer was, in my opinion, a bit of a quandary The reader is told that he is an agent of the crown and that he often plays a role while in the presence of the ton that is different than his own personality However, I didn t feel that the persona that he presented to the Ton was any different than the person he was when he was with Isobel, whom he was supposedly himself with, which was a problem for me Really, the whole agent of the Crown aspect of the story didn t really work for me If this would have been a story about a Rake, a Widow, and a deviously and really vile controlling in laws, I think I would have liked Secrets of a Proper Countess much muchthan I did in the end Not to say that I didn t like it, just that I felt it would have been a better story without the distraction of the plot involving the kidnapping of the French King.For instance, Phineas plays an agent of the crown, yet he spendstime trying to discover the identity of his secret lover, than uncovering the plot involving the King He assumes that the two are connected, but on very circumstantial evidence which made him seen almost amateurish in his agent skills He takes most things at face value, and something that left me somewhat baffled was his discovery of a will during a reconnaissance mission at Isobel s home that could have set Isobel free without the fear of losing her son early on in the story yet he doesn t reveal it or confront her about this until the very end of the story He has no real reason to hide the information, especially when she refuses to marry him for fear of retribution from her family You would have thought that he would have revealed this information to her, so that she could keep her son and be with him without retribution, but he doesn t It left me very confused, because you realize that he had to have known this earlier, because what good agent would steal important looking documents and not read them at the first opportunity, so why does he do nothing until the point where it no longer matters Of course it fits better in the plot this way, with the King kidnapping, but otherwise I thought it made him seem like an incompetent agent, as well as an unconcerned, and less than caring lover He always seem to accept things at face value and never once questions Isobel as to why she just doesn t lead her own life regardless of what her family by marriage believes since she is a supposedly wealthy widow It made his relationship with her seem very superficial. about lust and mutual desire, than caring and falling in love with Isobel As you can see I had some issues with Phineas as a hero worthy of the risks and sacrifices Isobel should suffer if their relationship were to be discovered.Another aspect to the story that I wish would have been exploredwas Isobel s relationship with her mother Her mother left her at a very young age to be with her lover and is led to believe by her father and her in laws that she left her daughter without looking back and never trying to contact her Isobel fears becoming her mother, who was infamous for her lusty behavior, and vows to be a good mother to her sonsomething that she doesn t feel she had from her own mother This history played a major part in who she has become, the choices that she has made, and how she presents herself to the Ton During the course of the story Isobel discovers that her mother didn t completely abandon her like she was led to believe Her feelings are somewhat resolved, but I wish I would have known definitively if Isobel and her mother were able to reconcile after so many years apart There was a hint in the story that her mother may have already died, but I was never quite sure so this part of the story felt a little bit unfinished Since it played such a large part in her development I expected this discover to have a larger impact than it did.I mentioned earlier in the review that The Secrets of a Proper Countess has a great cast of villainous charactersand it does, almost too many of them, but in the end they all get what they deserve Matter of fact their fate is all tied up in a pretty, almost over the top, bow However, I do feel that afitting ending to her in laws would have been public humiliation and the poverty that they feared that led to their greedy and possessive behavior, but that s just me and my vigilante justice I also feel though that this would have allowed Isobel to finally confront her mother in law with all of the terrible things that she did to suppress and manipulate Isobel all for her own gain and greed Because Isobel didn t get her moment of glory and triumph in a face to face confrontation with her mother in law, in essence owning her passions and personality and claiming all that is hers, I felt she was shortchanged and that her mother in law s demise was too unsatisfying.Overall, I felt that The Secrets of a Proper Countess had amazing potential, and had a heroine that I absolutely loved She was complex and presented with situations that seemed insurmountable It had really vile villains that I thought were so deliciously bad you couldn t believe all that they went to the lengths that they did But as I said before, the hero usually makes or breaks the story for me And in this book I didn t think Phineas was worthy of his task as an agent of the Crown, nor was he worthy of Isobel and the chances she took to be with him He was lackluster for me Add in the subplot with the kidnapping of the King which I thought could have been left out to the benefit of the story and it made a potentially great story, into one that disappointed me in a few important ways However, it appears that I am in the minority with my criticisms of the story, because the book has received fairly positive reviews If you ve read The Secrets of a Proper Countess I would love to know your thoughts.Ratings Overall 3.5 stars Though it appears that I am in the minority with my criticisms since most other reviews give this book 4 5 stars.maybe I was in a nitpicky mood when reading it Sensuality level 3.25 stars a few passionate, but brief encounters pretty straight forward sexin that is sure to satisfy some, and leave others wanting


  3. says:

    I didn t even look at the blurb That cover is stunning.


  4. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I bought this novel based on the reviews on All About Romance where it got a B and The Romance Reader where it got 5 out of 5 hearts , so I had great expectations The novel has a promising plot a beautiful, lively, and intelligent heroine who is forced to hide her looks and her personality to be allowed to remain with her child and a hero who is handsome, intelligent, and who sacrifices his own reputation in order to serve his country I was engaged by their developing relationship even whe I bought this novel based on the reviews on All About Romance where it got a B and The Romance Reader where it got 5 out of 5 hearts , so I had great expectations The novel has a promising plot a beautiful, lively, and intelligent heroine who is forced to hide her looks and her personality to be allowed to remain with her child and a hero who is handsome, intelligent, and who sacrifices his own reputation in order to serve his country I was engaged by their developing relationship even when I became impatient with his slowness in recognizing her as his secret lover however halfway through the book my impatience turned to disappointment and by the last 100 pages to anger I will detail the worst offenses below and I warn that there may be some SPOILERS ahead 1.A minor offense that was very irritating was the use of the hero s title as a sentence all through the book in italics and sometimes with exclamation marks Blackwood 2 The evilness of three secondary characters is described with a heaviness that hits the reader over the head repeatedly and painfully Isobel s mother in law and brother in law are over the top ugly, fat, EEEVIIIL, stupid, bad mannered, deranged, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever the mother in law is so eeeviiil that she suggested that her second son should kill the eldest presumably because he had become complacent and she wanted to attainriches and social standing and she is even willing to kill her own grandson herself The mother in law s companion is also eeeviiil, mad, hateful, wrinkled, and unattractive.3 Marianne, the hero s sister, is an airhead who does not stop talking I think that her character is meant to be endearing and funny, but her actions are so stupid and ill timed that I wanted to kill her She is too stupid to live, insensitive, oblivious, and inane When she is trapped with Isobel and in danger of being killed, her thoughts turn to making herself presentable and pretty for her husband when he inevitably rescues her, even though Isobel is in agony because she doesn t know if her son is dead or alive.4 Phineas, the hero, is supposed to be the most clever and resourceful spy of England, yet he comes across as unbelievably inept and slow When he finally comes to a realization it is because it would have been impossible for anyone not to get it This is true about his finally recognizing Isobel as his secret lover and at other points related to the conspiracy he is supposed to stop.5 The book is 371 pages long, but the relationship between Isobel and Phineas does not develop beyond the sexual aspect They lust, lust, lust for each other sometimes at the most inappropriate and inopportune times , but they don t really get to know each other, because their lust never allows them to finish a conversation Their sexual encounters are supposed to be hot and steamy, but I found them rushed, awkward, and underwhelming On a side note, Isobel believes that she could lose any contact with her son if she misbehaves in any way or is involved in a scandal, yet she has intercourse several times and NOT ONCE expresses any concern about becoming pregnant What 6 I detest coincidences and contrivances used as resources to move the plot ahead, and sadly the author abuses them abundantly.7 As I mentioned above, the book is 371 pages long, yet the ending is rushed The last hundred pages drag endlessly and unnecessarily in the resolution of the conspiracy All this does is highlight the ineptness of the hero and the author s shortcomings in describing the action elements of the story Due to this, the final moments between Isobel and Phineas are limited and unsatisfying The anticipated final love scene, in a bed and naked at last they never saw each other naked before , takes place off stage and we are only told about it.To summarize, the plot, the hero, and the heroine were promising the writing was acceptable and showed potential Sadly, the author lost her way and the story turned into a bad play with too much melodrama and not enough character development, depth, and coherence Regretfully, I am not inclined to give this author a second chance


  5. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here What a great adventure Debut author Lecia Cornwall has written a winner The plot of Secrets of a Proper Countess is an old one, traitors, spies, hidden identities, a heroine wanting excitementbut the writing in this book is above the norm and we even have some unexpected curves in the road.I have to say right up front that book was full of well written, three dimensional characters, even the villains And we are allowed to see their flaws, which is a nice change from the omnipresent wise What a great adventure Debut author Lecia Cornwall has written a winner The plot of Secrets of a Proper Countess is an old one, traitors, spies, hidden identities, a heroine wanting excitementbut the writing in this book is above the norm and we even have some unexpected curves in the road.I have to say right up front that book was full of well written, three dimensional characters, even the villains And we are allowed to see their flaws, which is a nice change from the omnipresent wise best friends matchmakers older brothers in other books In fact, some of those flaws made for some very amusing scenes later on in the book, one in particular had me chucklingand I congratulate Ms Cornwall on her great visual comedy writing.I loved both the heroine, Isobel and the hero, Phineas By the way, great name for a hero Now, normally I don t care for disguise stories, but this one sucked me right in And, let me tell you I felt terribly sorry for the heroine, and the dilemma she found herself inand this is one of the tense parts of the bookhow was her dilemma going to be solved And you are going to hate her family Phineas was one of those rakes that doesn t see it coming, his character wasn t written quite as strongly as Isobel s, however I just loved him A quibble approaches I had a small problem with the love story part of the book The sex was mighty steamy and the lead couple could not keep their hands off of each other, at least when Isobel was in disguise However, I didn t quite see why they fell in love with each other Minor quibble.While we are on the subject of minor quibbleauthors, be careful with slang The term getting laid was used It popped right out at me from the pages and for a moment only a moment I wondered if we were visiting Sex in the City instead of a Regency ballroom However, I was enjoying the book so much, I continued to read I did go back after I was finished with the book to check it out I couldn t find too much on it, except that it probably wasn t used to signify having sex, until the 1930 s in America Yes, there are references in the Bible to lie with her him , and even if that is from the same family of words, it wasn t used as such until later At least according to my sources However, who knows, maybe some rake did say it in the 1800 swho s to say There were also moments of if I d have written this, I d have done that but that s just me and then it would be my book not Ms Cornwall s.S o o, I could not put this book down I stayed up really late reading Secrets of a Proper Countess It was fast paced, with humor, adventure, villains, suspense and likable characters Oh, it s not perfect and there was what could have become a TSTL moment, however, it turned into a nail biting adventureand I have to say welcome Ms Cornwall, job well done


  6. says:

    In Lecia Cornwall s charming debut, the elegant ballroom setting of Regency England may be familiar, but Cornwall s unusually poignant heroine is anything but Widowed countess Isobel Maitland is a virtual prisoner in her London townhouse, trapped by the terms of her husband s will that transferred to her odious mother in law both Isobel s fortune and the guardianship of her beloved son Consequently, the Dowager Countess Honoria queens it over the Maitland household If Isobel dares to emerge f In Lecia Cornwall s charming debut, the elegant ballroom setting of Regency England may be familiar, but Cornwall s unusually poignant heroine is anything but Widowed countess Isobel Maitland is a virtual prisoner in her London townhouse, trapped by the terms of her husband s will that transferred to her odious mother in law both Isobel s fortune and the guardianship of her beloved son Consequently, the Dowager Countess Honoria queens it over the Maitland household If Isobel dares to emerge from mourning, remarry or even form a friendship that isn t blessed by Honoria, Isobel will lose all remaining access to her boy and be branded a public disgrace just like her notorious mother, Charlotte the Harlot, who allegedly abandoned Isobel for a foreign lover Enter Phineas Archer, the Marquess of Blackwood, an infamous rake secretly working to unmask a traitor for the Crown The last thing Phineas can afford is a distraction, but he can t seem to stop hunting the masked courtesan he encountered at a masquerade in an hour of unforgettable passion Phineas has never dreamed dowdy widow Isobel Maitland is his mysterious lover, who hides the allure of a temptress behind her drab mourning gowns Nor does Phineas realize it s Isobel s mother in law who is behind a traitorous plot to snatch the exiled French king from his English sanctuary and return him to France for the guillotine s cruel judgment When Isobel is unmasked at last, all evidence points to her as the villain Phineas is seeking Then Isobel s passionate rebellion against the family tyranny plunges both her and her son into mortal danger unless Phineas can unmask the true villain in time.It is Isobel s very real Purgatory of isolation and despair, coupled with her determination to protect her son as her own mother failed to do for her, that give this story its powerful, poignant punch Phineas is a smart, capable hero who rises to the occasion when danger threatens Isobel, and the sexual chemistry between the pair is undeniable Honoria and her weak willed brute of a son get what they deserve, and a set of delightful secondary characters in the Archer family lends further appeal and sparkle to this sometimes somber tale But it s Isobel s quiet search for the truth behind her mother s seeming abandonment, her selfless resolve to protect her child, and her gradual embrace of her own sensuality that lend this story its unique and memorable flair Combining the tender sentiment of Mary Balogh with the menace and suspense of Amanda Quick, Lecia Cornwall s sensual Regency set romance is a rare treat.Happy reading Laura Navarrewww.LauraNavarre.comDesire has never been so dangerous


  7. says:

    3.5 STARS


  8. says:

    When considering my reaction to this book, in general, overall, I d have to say enjoyment was found At the end of the story, I admit freely I was fascinated by the characters I found the plot to be readable The dialogue was believable The external drama was interesting, and well written But, there were some issues.From the beginning of the novel, to the end, I found the leading characters in the story to be very much grounded in reality One of my biggest criticisms of a book forms itself w When considering my reaction to this book, in general, overall, I d have to say enjoyment was found At the end of the story, I admit freely I was fascinated by the characters I found the plot to be readable The dialogue was believable The external drama was interesting, and well written But, there were some issues.From the beginning of the novel, to the end, I found the leading characters in the story to be very much grounded in reality One of my biggest criticisms of a book forms itself when the people within a story are flat and without life In Secrets of a Proper Countess, while I have other criticisms, this is not one of such Both Blackwood and Isobel are given distinct personalities which form themselves very well, and allow for the sense that these two are real people, with real feelings.However, with compliment comes criticism Firstly, while the above holds true for the hero and heroine, it does not hold so for the secondary characters Along with the two antagonists of the book, whose on screen viciousness is only truly depicted at the end of the book, thereby making them seem less of a threat throughout the story, I likewise found the secondary protagonists, Adam and Marianne, to be TSTL The Too Stupid To Live designation holdsfor Marianne, considering her actions and out of place reactions to her predicament with Isobel at the story s close made her seem vapid, which drastically contradicted the tone of the story the author was so obviously trying to create Adam, though, wasof a placeholder character for Blackwood, seeming to play the External Doubt for him in a very awkward and spastic way The plot of Secrets of a Proper Countess holds as much merit as criticism The story did fascinate me, however, since the high drama finality of the book was unexpected Largely, Isobel s struggles throughout the story focuses on her internal conflict in coping with the role she plays in her family, specifically with her in laws The danger she courts by dallying with Blackwood plays outlike suspense, rather than true conflict, since it is largely emotionally based All changes dramatically by the end of the story, the nature of the story transforming from internal to a very hard hitting external conflict Which, sadly, didn t lend itself well to the story This is so because, frankly, the author handled such transformation by not handling it Instead of threading the transformation throughout the story, providing intrigue with drama and suspense, Cornwall instead decided to slap the reader with this change by giving us an 89 page climax Yep, that s right Very, very heavy grit your teeth, squint your face because you re kept in a constant state of Holy Shit What Now is elongated over an absurd amount of time Starting on page 274, and not ceasing until page 363, the fate of the primary characters are unknown for a ridiculous amount of time While high drama is okay for a climax, and almost expected, really, it is not okay when it is used simultaneously for a story s turning point, as well as its closing Final Problem Big, big no no for me.Aside from drawing out the drama to an unnecessary degree, Cornwall also disappointed me in another big area the romance Fundamentally, I am reading a romance, and with that fundamental reality comes the fact that while I enjoy danger, intrigue and mystery as much as the next reader, I still want my romance One of my biggest criticisms of this book is the fact that the hero and heroine go from Lusty Pants to Love Lovey with no emotional framework in between Frankly, there was so much plot to this book that such rudely shoved itself in between the romantic development Isobel and Blackwood needed in order to make their romance and HEA believable Such development was so nonexistent that, by the time the couple was proclaiming Love Lovey Loveness, I was excessively irritated because it came across as painfully dull, and fake What s , the hero considered Isobel to be a traitor and murderer not a few pages prior to deciding that he loved her Our gallant hero instead claimed it was Adam s fault for making him doubt Isobel Yes, three exclamation marks were indeed necessary So, yeah, big problem, there.So, overall, this book Yep Its got issues, big issues However, at no time was I so disgusted with the story that my hands ever itched to throw it against the nearest wall Likewise, regardless of the Big No Nos within, the novel was entirely readable I did connect with the characters, despite wishing they d connectwith one another I did enjoy the plot, despite feeling as though it s conclusion was longer the President Bush s presidential term And, overall, I did like this book, Big No Nos aside But, as with any novel, if it s written well enough, it can endure in spite of itself


  9. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here A man who s been playing the rake for so long, he wonders if he still remembers who he really is, and a widow trapped by the love of her child and the cruel terms of her dead husband s will into a family that controls her and despises her utterly.This is another I wished for a three and a half star rating plot wise, there s not a lot to push this book above the typical English spy playing the rake, falling for a possible suspect story It s been done, and I think that aspect of the plot A man who s been playing the rake for so long, he wonders if he still remembers who he really is, and a widow trapped by the love of her child and the cruel terms of her dead husband s will into a family that controls her and despises her utterly.This is another I wished for a three and a half star rating plot wise, there s not a lot to push this book above the typical English spy playing the rake, falling for a possible suspect story It s been done, and I think that aspect of the plot could have been done much better The spy plot was an inconstant thread too much in the background I thought for much of the book, only to leap out in full flower at the very end as a convenient crisis for heroine and hero to survive Honestly, the details of the treasonous plot seemed waaay too convoluted at the end, there, for how much attention they d been given in plot development.Isobel, however, pulls this book up above average She s a really intriguing character, and her inner struggles over her desires oh her desires , her unsavory past, her bitter present, and the love of her innocent child are really heartbreaking at times Essentially, two generations of jealousies and scandals hold her prisoner, and much as she resents her present circumstances, she also fears repeating her mother s mistakes Her friends constantly misunderstand her situation, but she deeply fears the consequences of setting them straight To live as she did for so many years and NOT crack is a testament to the strength of her character What s evenhorrifying is how believable it was the English legal system cared so little for the rights of women in those days that her situation was sadly realistic.And then, of course, there s Blackwood I loved the flirting between him and his mystery lover, his frustration over not being able to FIND her particularly when she was right under his nose the bit with the mole, when he finally figured it out, was delightful , the passion of the sex scenes on the one hand, speedy on the other, a testament to just how far gone this practiced lover really is over this woman I would have enjoyed getting into his head a bit , maybe a littlebackground on how he d gotten ito this line of work,of a crisis of conscience over bedding and falling in love with a possible spy But I also appreciated his slow tumble into love, and that he wasn t stupid about recognizing it recognizing how important Isobel had become to him, measured against his duty.This was a debut novel I m rather looking forward tofrom this author with hopefully a bitpolish, as she grows in her writing


  10. says:

    This was better than expected, considering the mess that was How to Deceive a Duke The story felt much better woven than the other, and while the plot did descend into melodramatic farce, there were elements of this that I actually enjoyed.HOWEVER 1 I am 110% done with the parent abandons child and through no fault of their own, fails to communicate their ever lasting love and devotion, and POOF, all feelings of abandonment and despair disappear trope 2 Which, that trope really didn t eve This was better than expected, considering the mess that was How to Deceive a Duke The story felt much better woven than the other, and while the plot did descend into melodramatic farce, there were elements of this that I actually enjoyed.HOWEVER 1 I am 110% done with the parent abandons child and through no fault of their own, fails to communicate their ever lasting love and devotion, and POOF, all feelings of abandonment and despair disappear trope 2 Which, that trope really didn t even belong in this novel at all It s not like Isobel doesn t have enough going on for her evil mother in law, evil brother in law, her child being held hostage for her good behavior, her naughty secret passions, a smuggling plot, etc Her mother issues were a strange secondary thread easily waved away when she finds a bunch of old letters Which, Marianne reading everything she gets her hands on was delightful So nosy 3 This book was strangely dark Like, I have no problem with realism in romance But, at one point, the villains of the piece are plotting to kill the heroine and so they lock her up in her room and arrange for someone to come and take her away But before that can happen, she escapes and the evil companion who hoards secrets gets knocked out and left behind So then the hired kidnapper shows up And the servants show him to the room with the unconscious companion And he takes her away Which is FINE, until Isobel shows up at the climax location and everyone is like AREN T YOU SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD IN A DITCH SOMEWHERE BY NOW and it was just kind of like What a reaction Basically, the companion is dead and that s how you find out And a similar accidental but not really because it s an evil plot death occurs when the evil mother in law climbs into a carriage she s rigged for DEATH, and she gets a line near the end that s basically like OH YEAH, SHE S DEAD TOO CARRIAGE ACCIDENT HOW SAD NOT It was just kind of startling Like, I wasn t expecting such hard hitting justice


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