Monday, June 7, 2010

Guest Review - - Tempting a Proper Lady

Tempting a Proper Lady
By Debra Mullins
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: June 8, 2010

American Samuel Breedlove is a survivor. He survived a barren childhood, a rough life at sea from a young age, an attempt on his life, and many months of being marooned on a Caribbean island. He returns to London after he is rescued from the island to find Annabelle Bailey, the woman to whom he was engaged on the verge of becoming betrothed to the Earl of Raventhorpe, the very man who tried to kill him. Samuel succeeds in breaking up the ball before the engagement is announced, but when Annabelle’s parents, who have been like family to him, doubt his story, his only possible ally is Priscilla Burke, a lady’s companion whom the American Baileys have placed in charge of planning their only daughter’s wedding to an English aristocrat.

Cilla, widowed after a disastrous marriage and estranged from her family because of her marriage, is determined to be independent. Annabelle’s wedding to Raventhorpe is her opportunity to forge a career for herself as a planner of society weddings. Helping Samuel will meet forfeiting her chance at securing her future as an independent career woman. But Cilla knows the effects of marriage to an untrustworthy male, and she can’t discount Captain Breedlove’s tales.

Working together to uncover the deeds of the villainous Raventhorpe, Cilla, a woman who has sworn to make herself vulnerable to no man, and Samuel, who believes he is incapable of love, find themselves passionately attracted to one another. They strike a bargain. Cilla will work to persuade Annabelle to jilt Raventhorpe, and Samuel will become Cilla’s lover and teach her how to distinguish desire from love. Matters become even more complicated when love enters a relationship that was supposed to be only about desire.

I admit that I struggled to suspend disbelief concerning the bargain, and I prefer my villains more complex and less undiluted evil than Raventhorpe. But these difficulties are balanced by my delight in a setting that blends elements of America’s Gilded Age with England’s Victorian Era. I also found both major and minor characters a refreshing change. Samuel is a self-made man who rises from poverty to great wealth, Cilla is the daughter of an admiral, the Baileys are Molly Brown types, and secondary characters John Ready and highwayman Black Bill with their secrets are particularly intriguing. Additionally, the love scenes between Cilla and Samuel sizzle.

Tempting a Proper Lady is the first book in a new trilogy, the Brides of Nevarton Chase. Mullins said in an interview that the next book will be John’s story. I certainly plan to stick around for that one.



  1. I have read a few of Debra Mullins books and have enjoyed them very much this one sounds really good as well and the start of a new series I love books in a series
    Thanks for the review

    Have Fun

  2. Janga, this sounds like a good one, especially if it's the beginning of a new series.

    Thanks for the great review!

  3. Helen, I'm a fan of series too. And I was really pleased when I read that John Ready's story would be the next book. I think he'll be a marvelous hero.

  4. Gannon, I thought the American characters made TAPL particularly interesting. I'm eager to know if Mullins is going to make the American girl, Annabelle Bailey, the heroine of one of the books.

  5. Thanks for another terrific review, Janga. This sounds like a story I'd enjoy, especially with the intriguing secondary characters who will also get stories. I do love a series! :)

  6. You know, Janga, Debra Mullins is one of my favorite authors. Her JUST ONE TOUCH is one of my top all time favorite books. I'm looking forward to this new series. Great review!