Thursday, January 28, 2016

A PROPER ROMANCE: My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen


In this Regency twist of My Fair Lady, Jack would rather be at sea than fixing the mistakes of his grandfather, the late Earl of Stansworth. Instead, he finds that inheriting his grandfather's wealth and title—and securing the welfare of his sister and mother—means joining the ranks of high society and living with the aristocracy. Luckily, Ivy Carlisle, the granddaughter of a dear friend of Jack's late grandmother, is willing to teach him etiquette and properly introduce him into society. Jack soon learns that his challenge isn't surviving his new lifestyle but surviving the conspiracies against him—as well as keeping himself from falling madly in love with his new tutor.


This is a book that is definitely going on my favorites shelf.  I loved it, all of it.  The characters, the plot, the setting, the time period, I enjoyed it all. While I don't particularly like the movie, My Fair Lady, I found myself loving this version, probably because Jack and Ivy and such great characters.  The interactions between Jack and Ivy as they get to know each other were great, thoroughly witty and amusing. I was very sad when the book ended, I truly hoped it would never end. ;)

The secondary characters added a great deal to the story.  Jack's mother and sister's situations provide some side stories that could become books in and of themselves (I hope they do!), especially since they are the primary reason that Jack becomes the new Earl of Stansworth in the first place.  It's fun to follow the changes that Jack undergoes as he prepares to face society as the new earl.  Ivy's efforts to 'tame' the sailor are delightfully difficult.  And Ivy's grandmother is one of those characters that make me smile every time they show up in the story.  Nana is the supportive mentor that Ivy needs with her rather dull, scandal conscious parents. All sorts of details make this a fun read, everything from Ivy's secret job to Jack's twelve-year-old valet to Sophia's (Jack's sister) desire to establish a young woman's training home.  A great book for those who enjoy delightful romances with some depth.

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