Synopsis: Lady Amelia Bertram hates Thomas Armstrong. He is her absentee father’s protégé and all the other ladies of the ton fawn all over him. Trying to prove a point of how great he isn’t, Amelia insults him while at a ball and, unfortunately, everyone heard her. When Amelia’s father, Harry, asks Thomas to watch over Amelia while he is in America doing business, Thomas accepts with the intent of teaching Amelia a lesson…
Author: Beverley Kendall is apparently rather well travelled having lived on two continents, three countries, two provinces, and four states.
Cover: The book’s package has a very large photo of a man nuzzling a woman’s neck while her dress is coming down and his shirt is undone. The title is in large, embossed, gilt lettering. This isn’t exactly a novel I would read on the bus.
Pacing: The story flows fairly well for the most part, but there are times when days are skipped over just to get characters back into the bedroom. While love scenes can be rather nice –or naughty, rather- having too many in a row gets redundant.
Location: The book starts in London but later moves to the countryside. Not that you can really tell since mostly the action takes place indoors, particularly the dining room, the library, and the bedrooms.
Romance: The author describes Amelia and Thomas’ relationship as that they each “doth protest too much” a la Shakespeare. Amelia is prejudice against Thomas because she feels her father loves the protégé more than herself and so she acts rudely towards him. Thomas tries to keep a polite face on things in public, but privately treats her cruelly. They each try to ignore their attraction for each other until they have no choice but to face it.
Unfulfilled Promise: The book finishes just before a ball that Thomas’ mother is hosting. Amelia and Thomas decide to sneak away before it begins and that is the end. What you really want is something more… does no one look for the missing pair and demand they appear at the ball for surely Thomas’ mum or Amelia’s father has something to say on the matter. Or at least have an epilogue of their wedding or their family some years down the line. Surely something more could have been done to make the final scene of the novel a bit more conclusive.
Quote: A wise man doesn’t run, for that encourages a chase. What he does is avoid. I am avoiding.
The Verdict: I did enjoy the novel as it had an interesting storyline and enjoyable characters. It may not be the best historical I have ever read, but one that I may someday be interested in reading again.