Mon, Jul. 15th, 2013

oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
Yay, I finished a book! Boo, I stayed up way to late to do it!

Kate Westbrook is relying on her stunning beauty to marry someone titled to lift her family and herself into the class they should have been in all along, had her father not married her actress mother and gotten disowned.

Meanwhile, in other family scandals, Nick Blackshear's brother ran off and married a Cyprian in A Gentleman Undone, and since then, Nick the barrister has seen a drop in clients and a similar decline of his social ambitions to become a politician.

When Kate manages to secure a few party invitations, she's sure she finally has the chance to achieve all her dreams. Her father asks his protege and family friend Nick to keep an eye on her, and naturally, the two are drawn to each other, despite both knowing that they are completely wrong for each other.

I like Grant for giving her characters dilemmas that aren't easily resolved by the end of the book: Will and Lydia's happy ending in book 2 doesn't magically make everyone accept them, and here, both Nick and Kate have to make a hard decision about how far they are willing to go to achieve their dreams and ambitions. The parts I like best are actually the ones in which Kate and Nick are talking (often to each other) about their ambitions, or watching how much they will bend their ethics for their goals.

I wasn't entirely convinced by the sudden onslaught of sexy times, particularly near the end, and I think the denouement was too fast. That said, I very much liked that the two were believable as friends. I also appreciate Grant including several female characters, and for the gentle poking at Kate's sister Viola and her strident feminist ways without making her into a Straw Feminist.

Enjoyable, if not as gripping as the second Blackshear book.

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