Tuesday, December 13, 2005

No True Gentleman by Liz Carlyle

Keishon's TBR Challenge for December was to read a Liz Carlyle. This one has been in my TBR pile since January 2003 so I was glad for an excuse to whittle down my pile. I originally bought this book based on the reviews. It received an A- at AAR and a 5-heart review at TRR.

Copyright Year: 2002

Synopsis: Lady Catherine Wodeway is a widow newly arrive from the country. Maximilian de Rohan is an Italian immigrant who has worked his way up from a policeman to a magistrate in the Home Office. Max is working on a case of police corruption when he observes Catherine on her morning rides in Hyde Park and is attracted to her. When she inadvertently gets too close to a couple of suspects, Max pulls her into a kiss so that they can't identify them. And so the romance begins. Max fights his attraction because he feels unworthy of her and Catherine seems to do most of the pursuing.

I have ranted in the past about tired well-worn plot devices or stereotypical characters. So it was so enjoyable to read about memorable, unique characters. Max is not a womanizer or a rake, bedding everything in site. Catherine was not a young naive virgin. I enjoy reading about characters who were not of the aristocracy and especially enjoy reading about relationships that cross the lines of social class. Although Max is no gentleman, he is an honorable and decent man, reminding me a bit of a character from a Lisa Kleypas book. Catherine is a strong heroine but there is one puzzling scene when she asks Max to dinner even though he is a virtual stranger. This seemed to push the idea of her independence at bit too far from reality for me. The sex scenes were wonderfully sensual and steamy. The secondary characters were memorable as well - Max's meddling Italian grandmother, Kemble, and even Max's dog, Lucifer. Hard to imagine an HEA for two people with such disparate social backgrounds but the ending was satisfying with a terrific epilogue.

Grade: A-

New author for you: No, I read A Woman of Virture back in June 2002 and really enjoyed it.

Would you read more of this author's work: Yes. I plan to read The Devil To Pay this month too. I would like to glom the rest of her work because Carlyle has wonderful depth to her writing. I thoroughly enjoyed her unusual characters and the hot sensuality of her writing. I'm not too enamored of a mystery/suspense element in historicals if it takes away from the romance and/or is not believable. But in NTG this was not the case. The murder mystery did not take over the story but it was very close. Carlyle was able to weave the mystery into the romance very skillfully.


CindyS said...

Ooops! You finished before me. I was going to spend today reading so I am looking forward to finishing this one up. I only skimmed your review because I didn't want any spoilers. Good to see the A- though!

I don't have The Devil To Pay :(


ReneeW said...

Cindy - It was a very fast read for me. Hope you like it better BLTN (which I haven't read).

Tara Marie said...

Since I'm a Liz Carlyle fangirl I expect everyone to love everything she writes *grin*.

I'm glad you liked this one. I recently re-read TDTP and loved it again and I'm waiting patiently for my order of Two Little Secrets to come in, it's due any day.

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