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I have mixed feelings about Secrets of a Proper Lady. First, I have to agree with the other reviewers - it was very disconcerting for the hero's voice to be pitched higher than any other character. At first I thought maybe the narrator just didn't differentiate much between characters, and was using her own voice for all of them, but her other male voices were pitched a little lower, and she did seem to have control of all the different character voices. The hero's voice, in fact, seemed even higher and girlier than the heroine's. I tried to get over it - really, the narrator wasn't bad, and she slipped from American to British accents back and forth very fluidly, but sheesh, give us a manly hero, please!
Second, while I enjoyed most of the story, I thought the heroine walked a thin line between feisty/independent and TSTL (too stupid to live) and she stepped way over into stupid at the end, in my opinion. You know the type, where you find yourself saying NO DON'T DO THAT out loud while you listen. That indeed made it go from a solid 4-star to a barely 3-star for me. I didn't quite go as far as ripping the earphones out and yelling, as I have with some (the audio equivalent of a Wall Banger book). It didn't actually ruin the book for me, but it was frustrating.
The tea-party 2nd epilogue didn't quite work for me as this was my first book by this author, but was a fun idea and helped me slightly get over my feelings about the heroine at the end of the book. If you've read several of this author's books already, you might enjoy it more. That is, if you make it that far without ripping your earphones out and yelling...
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
This is apparently the third book in a series -- there is no need for you to be familiar with the previous books to enjoy this one (I wasn't). The recurring theme is that of eligible men wagering to remain unwed and each succumbing to marriage. This is the romance between American-in-London self-made Daniel Sinclair and his romance with ton-bred Lady Cordelia Bannister.
Neither the hero or heroine want to marry, but have been thrust into potential marriage by their business-oriented fathers who see a benefit in the union. I rather enjoyed the ensuing farce when both hero and heroine decide to masquerade as another person to gather information about their potential intended, and perhaps even to wheedle out of the unwanted commitment. Unfortunately it seemed to go on for too long, and when it resolved it was all a little too pat and a little rushed. The writing was occasionally lazy (repetitious vocabulary), but these lapses were redeemed by some humorous dialogue which kept my attention. I also appreciated that our heroine was smart and independent. I felt a little indignant on her behalf for that being misinterpreted as spoilt and selfish by her family (in particular the male members), but such were the times.
The narration was fairly good -- although the higher pitch voice of the American hero took some time to get used to, almost effiminate, which was a little disconcerting.
I feel this book was almost on the verge of 4 stars, but sadly never quite lived up to potential. I will give this 4 stars, but with the reader-beware that it is at best a 3.5 (but one cannot issue half stars). That said, that puts it above a number of titles I have listened to recently!
For readers of Ms Alexander's books, there is a charming little epilogue that took me awhile to understand as I am not familiar with her titles -- it is a imaginary tea party with the author and her past characters. A cute little thought-scape.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful