Monday, February 8, 2010

MY UNFAIR LADY by Kathryne Kennedy

Publisher Sourcebooks
Publication Date: December 2009
ISBN: 978-1402229909
Historical Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained: Via Publisher (Author request)

A man of honor, a woman of her word, a relationship doomed from the start, or is it?

Summer Wine Lee has met the man of her dreams. At least she is fairly certain he is. Summer’s great love, Monte, is related to the indomitable Mrs. Aster of New York high society she will do all she must to be his bride and the lady he wants on his arm.

Byron, Duke of Manchester has found his perfect niche in life, or so it would seem. He visits the haunts of the upper class and providers unending entertainment for Prince Albert. Known for his biting wit and sharp tongue, he is a sought after guest and at the same time a feared visitor.

Summer journeys to England to improve her chances with Monte because, after all, despite the couple being pledged to each other, without Mrs. Aster’s approval the match will never be. In at attempt to become a special lady in the society maven’s eyes, Summer retains Monte to teach her all she will need to know along with having an audience with the Queen. After all, what better way to impress the veritable mainstay of New York style than to have met the Queen.

Byron accepts the position of making a lady out of Summer. Well he really doesn’t seriously care one way or the other. Rather he sees her as a font of entertainment with which to regale the Prince for days on end. Tales of Summer’s missteps will provide ample fodder to have himself invited to all manner of parties. What he doesn’t plan on is falling in love with Summer. Summer, however, holds fast to her believe that Monte is the one and only man for her.

I became a fan of Kathryn Kennedy with her Relics of Merlin series. In the pages of those books she created a magical world, parallel to ours. With fun twists on known locales such as Mayfair becoming Mayfairy she transported her readers to the highways and byways of a enchanted time and place. MY UNFAIR LADY is a straight historical romance that is equally as enthralling. There was so much to like in this story I hardly know where to begin. As I came across each scene that made the story special I thought “I have to include this”, “I have to include that.”

The changes both within and without Summer are completely believable. They aren’t rushed or out of the norm in any way. The scene where she realizes she truly likes herself the way she is is well done. Byron is the kind of hero you fall in love with. While he strives to hide behind a cold and cruel fa├žade, the reader sees into his heart. But he is not your “typical” romance novel hero. He’s not tall and an unforgettable presence. Rather he is shorter in stature than most of the men around him. He is still handsome and built quite nicely. Ms. Kennedy wrote him so well that the compelling man inside comes through with dramatic clarity. I found myself falling in love with Byron early on and wanted to shake Summer more than once for turning away from him.

Yet that was the dilemma. Summer made a promise to another man. One she would keep no matter what. Byron made a bargain and would do everything possible to keep that bargain. Byron set his path on making Summer the lady Monte would marry. By achieving their goals and holding to their sense of honesty they may lose the chance for the love of a life time.

I still hope the Relics of Merlin series will continue and at the same time I hope Ms. Kennedy continues to write her absorbing historical romances.


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