bookreview1

One word: charming.
Two words: engaging hilarity.
Three words: sparkling/sparking chemistry.

Most decidedly, Compromised, is a great way to kick off your summer reading. Kate Noble engages readers with narrative that is tongue-in-cheek. Part of the narrative reads third person omniscient and part is third person lead-centric as we are use to in romance. It changes without warning sometimes, but after the first time or two you don’t really notice it. I started to look forward to it actually because it was so funny, not that the lead-centric parts were not, but the omniscient portions offered a look into Regency society and how gossip spreads.

Maximillian (Max) St. John, Viscount Fontaine, the future Earl of Longbowe, is in desperate need of a wife. Not because he needs money, not because he particularly wants one, but because his father is determined to wield the very last bit of his power over his son before he dies.

You’re probably wondering why on earth Max would give in to this ridiculously patented scheme.

He gives in because his father threatens to spread gossip that Max is a bastard child from a time when his wife cuckolded him (which is completely false mind you), sell off everything that is not entailed and will all of the money to distant relations leaving Max without a name, without funds, and with land in perpetual need of expensive upkeep. Wow! That is pretty darn harsh.

Max is determined to make the best of it, but he only has three months to accomplish such a feat. He’s attending balls, musicales, and parties meeting women who are tall, short, blond, brunette, intelligent, insipid, but none of them are for him. In fact, all of the ladies he’s been meeting lack something.

Gail Alton is unfashionably tall and unfashionably intelligent and unfashionably irksome. She prefers to spend her time at museums and in a book. She loves history and languages and horses. Her sister, Evangeline, is petite, blond and practically perfect in every way. They share a loving relationship and neither one begrudge the other anything. However, compared to Evangeline, Gail is basically invisible, which works for her because she doesn’t find conversations about ribbons to be particularly interesting.

What follows is a regular comedy of manners as Max stumbles into a compromising situation with both ladies. Once with Gail while riding through Hyde’s Park and once with Evangeline including a stolen kiss in a conservatory. He ends up engaged to one girl and falling in love with the other. How will this tangled mess unravel?

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Buy: Compromised

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1 Liz June 25, 2010 at 4:12 PM

I loved all the stuff about gossip. I thought the opening of this book was great. It reminded me of the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, with the omniscient voice of gossip (it is a truth universally acknowledged) and everyone talking about Bingley and Darcy, whether they’re single and how much money they have. Imagine a world where everyone knew your net worth 5 minutes after you walked into a party. The cool thing about Compromised was the sense it gave of how servants helped spread the gossip.

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