Shelves: big-misunderstanding , anachronisms I give this one 3 stars. There wasnt really anything wrong with it and I liked both the hero and heroine, but the romance was a bit lackluster. Not bad, but not really racy either. The characters all behaved very anachronistically and the mystery was easy to figure out, but on the whole it was an enjoyable read.

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Shelves: big-misunderstanding , anachronisms I give this one 3 stars. There wasnt really anything wrong with it and I liked both the hero and heroine, but the romance was a bit lackluster.

Not bad, but not really racy either. The characters all behaved very anachronistically and the mystery was easy to figure out, but on the whole it was an enjoyable read.

On his deathbed, the brother asked James to look out for Maggie and he agreed, but for some reason when I give this one 3 stars. So that went unexplored. Likewise, it would have made perfect sense for Maggie to hold a grudge against James. I would expect her to have some misplaced anger toward James for that….

Using a pseudonym, he dished all the salacious details on London society in a regular column in the paper. When this book opens, Maggie is in a brothel, being hidden in the armoire of a prostitute named Maisey. She had apparently been there interviewing all the working girls who happily dished on all their important clients. Maggie is apparently great friends with the Madame, which…how did that happen?? This too, gave me questions, since I had to wonder how Maggie saw her life working out if she married this guy.

So, was she expecting to be able to continue her paparazzi activities once she got married? And he likes for the prostitute to pretend to be Maggie during their sex play.

He wants to practice his proposal on Maisey, and then afterward likes for her to flog him hard enough to leave welts on his back. He also wants Maisey to dress like Maggie. Maisey also gives her a red mask to wear.

Then Maggie climbs out the window and shimmies along the ledge to the next room, which is supposed to be empty. Except once inside, Maggie locks eyes with a random woman, then leaves without a word. A mysterious prostitute who is in extremely high demand and always wears a mask during her sessions.

James has the PI grab Maggie and then spirits her to his estate in the country. Then we get a few rather eye-rolling days of conversations where everyone talks about things without anyone making any clear statements so that the Big Misunderstanding can go on. And, she tells James, she actually finds the work to be exciting and enjoyable. Meanwhile, James and Maggie discover that they have a lot in common and bond over a shared love of books.

Maggie is outraged and storms out. The aunt give Maggie a ride back to London and they bond on the trip. James is trying desperately to apologize to her and resorts to stalking her after she returns all his letters. On one occasion he has to yank her out of the way of a speeding carriage that almost runs her over. But after saving her life she still slams the door in his face, so James resorts to deception and sends her an invitation to visit his aunt. She accepts and heads over but then someone pushes her in front of another carriage and she cracks her head on the street.

Once she comes-to she realizes that James lied in order to get her there and takes off. He follows her and then they hear a shot. James tackles her and says that someone just tried to kill her.

She scoffs at this, even when he shows her the bullet hole in her hat. She tells him where to jump, but does more or less forgive him for the Lady X business. He beats her unconscious, then sets fire to the house and leaves. Then through the keyhole Maggie sees the scarred man approaching and grabs a heavy object and bashes him over the head with it when he enters.

Meanwhile the PI has tipped off James and he helps her escape. This turns into them having sex on the library desk. Maggie is depressed but not really given much of a choice. A few weeks go by with wedding plans being made but Maggie feels separate from it all. Then she decides to seduce James in the library again, so next time he comes over she just pounces on him. He resists for half a second because his sister is there to meet Maggie but then just gives in.

And, since this pair have apparently never heard of door locks, they get walked in on again, this time by the aunt and the sister. Moving on, one of the first thing James does as her fiance is to force her to resign as the gossip writer. He also has the PI post guards on her, to keep her from getting herself killed.

So naturally that means Maggie has to misplace her brain again and sneak out. What was so pressing that she had to run off even after 4 increasingly violent attempts on her life? She wants to talk to the Madame to find out whether what she felt towards James is actually love. Or at least an accomplice to the attempt? Maggie leaves and then gets snatched into a carriage and rendered unconscious for the fourth time in the book so far. Lucky for her, her butler has been following her. He saw her get snatched and followed the carriage to the docks, then sent a boy off to tell James of the location before getting caught himself.

He sets off with the PI and one of his men and there are 3 buildings to search so they split up. She was afraid Maggie would reveal her identity in her gossip column so now Maggie has to die.

James is devastated and takes her to a doctor-friend. She tells James she loves him, then passes out. Days later she wakes up, apparently having come through a fever. The friend tells Maggie that James loves her, but that she should be aware that he might not be ready to admit it. She feels miserable and he looks miserable. She loves him too much to make him miserable for the rest of his life. James is shocked and thoughtlessly announces to the whole church that she could be carrying his child at that moment.

Then she runs out and he pulls her into a carriage. There he finally admits that he does love her. The end. Overall it was decent, if a bit predictable and light on emotion. Not the death and killing that happened around him, nor his best friend taking a bullet meant for him.


The Reluctant Reformer (2002)

Lady Maggie Wentworth must support herself as an investigative reporter. While interviewing the women, a client enters, and Maggie is shocked to see her beau. She changes clothes with one of the girls and flees out the window, only to be whisked away by a stranger. Hard times must have driven her to such a desperate act, and he is intent on reforming the wanton chit. No amount of protest will stop him from saving her reputation.


The Reluctant Reformer

Chapter One London, March Maggie shifted her feet slightly, trying to ease the ache her cramped position was causing in her legs. The small movement was enough to cause her to bang her knees against the door of the armoire she presently sat in, making it rattle. Wincing at the pain that shot up her leg, Maggie was busily rubbing the appendage when the cupboard door opened and soft candlelight spilled in over her. She straightened and began to step from the small closet. Er, Daisy, is it?

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