Ok, I know my “Currently Reading” says “The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie” but I haven’t finished it yet because…I keep getting distracted. Not because it’s not interesting (because it really is), but because I’ve been waiting for this one for months and Suzanne Enoch is a tried and true author for me.
A Lady’s Guide to Improper Behavior by Suzanne Enoch
A lady should always make polite conversation . . .
Theresa Weller understands the rules of decorum, and is appalled when Colonel Bartholomew James disrupts a perfectly civilized dinner. This rude, insensitive man is the complete opposite of everything a gentleman should be—but with one searing kiss, Tess can think of no one else.
A lady should never lose her temper . . .
Aggravated beyond bearing by a man who speaks his mind, Tess wishes there was a guide to men like Bartholomew. Surely, with such an assortment of handsome, polite suitors to choose from, Tess should not ache for him.
And a lady should never pursue a gentleman.
She invites him on carriage rides and dares him to dance, and almost makes him want to return to Society. Bartholomew knows Tess wants to be seen as a proper miss, but deep down, he knows she is precisely the sort to spark his desire . . . A most improper lady.
Suzanne Enoch will forever be on my list of favorite authors. I will admit, however, to liking her earlier work more than her current publications. That said, I LOVED “A Lady’s Guide to Improper Behavior” (although, I’m a little miffed at the title and I’ll explain why later).
A Lady’s Guide is actually second in Suzanne’s “Adventurer’s Club” series (The first being The Care and Taming of a Rogue…which I did NOT review. Quick summary review: I didn’t think it was her best work. Likable, but not lovable.)
Colonel Bartholomew “Tolly” James – a physically crippled soldier home from India who people believe is faking
Theresa “Tess” Weller – eminently proper, polite, kind, soft-spoken woman hiding a secret
*There’s actually a lot going on in this book. On the surface there’s the cheesy romance. But, dig deeper and you find a criticism of/ a look-into British politics. Do soldiers come home injured, but the government discredit’s them for the sake of appearance? Do soldiers make up attacks and viscous groups to claim heroism?
*Tolly and Tess have chemistry. It was fun read the witty banter between the two and Tess never backed down. A refreshing change… Although, to be honest a lot of the heroines now-a-days are the ‘strong, independent, outspoken, hear-me-roar!’ type.
*The development of the relationship was well written. Both were in need of a friend and that’s what they got. Until it became more which was when they were both confused. It was new and in Tolly’s case highly unwanted. He was determined to spend the rest of his life in solitude, away from prying questions and pitying eyes. There was no “chase” just a simple progression.
*(Side note: Is it off I tend to sympathize with male characters more than the female characters?)
*The Thugee plot was interesting…although I would have liked to have seen more of it, rather than the quick wrap up at the end.
* Not quite there, but getting closer and closer to those earlier times I loved.
*Regency etiquette kind of went out the window with this one. The story had a nice flirty feel/flow. But, if you’re easily irked by Historical Romances that do not follow historical etiquette…this isn’t the book for you. The protagonists were calling each other by their Christian names all willy-nilly, they were left alone in rooms together…although, I loved the valet. *hint, hint*
*Reminiscent of England’s Perfect Hero (another of Enoch’s work) with the whole injured soldier with horrific experiences who meets a determined woman that manages to worm her way into his life.
*The end with the Thugee resolution..abrupt, rushed. It felt like she reached her allotted word count and needed to tie up loose ends.
*A few months before I even heard of this book I titled a YA Regency I was working on…title is rather similar in wording and length to Ms. Enoch’s *grumble grumble*
Rate: 3 1/2 star out of 5
Oh, and Enoch lovers who’ve read her previous work like..oh, say…The Rake (part of the Lessons in Love series). Remember the Carroways? Sexy Tristan, his multitude of brothers…adorable little Edward? Well, Bradshaw is getting a book!!! He’s going to be part of the Adventurer’s Club and his book comes out this Fall. How awesome is that? I’m still holding out hope Edward gets a book!!