R19. Rules for a Lady by Katherine Greyle

This was the last romnov that I read, way back in late May/early June. I can't believe that it's been that long, and I'm not really looking forward to starting up again. -M.R.

Rules for a LadyPages: 311

Pairing: maid/bastard/by-blow and earl
First Sentence: "Do you repent now?"
Climax: No sex! But here is a kiss with too much tongue: He claimed her mouth with a groan, wrapping his arms around her and crushing her against him as his tongue invaded her. She let her head drop back, opening herself to him as he plumbed her very depths.

Sheri WhiteFeather, or even Livia Dare, could have done so much more with this premise. Instead, though I suspect Katherine Greyle is a very nice person, her book is super boring, and I think Gillian Ames is the worst romnov heroine so far.

Gillian has suffered for her entire life because she is a bastard, although except for a few things, I didn't really get a good idea of her misery. Somewhere along the way she also acquired medical knowledge and a love of books, which she conveniently shares with her guardian, the reluctant Earl of Mavenford, aka Stephen. Well, not her guardian. Actually, her dead half-sister Amanda's guardian, but when Amanda died Gillian stole her identity.

Seriously this is so boring and I don't want to go into detail*. Surprise, Gillian and Stephen fall in love!

I'd rather stress some other points than belabour the horrendous plot conveniences. Firstly, Gillian is a fucking tool. Her character is so so so ridiculous. Because she's so "unconventional" and awesome, her first tourist stop in London is the crypts at some church, and she's super caring so she rescues about twenty street urchins and even nurses her cruel half-sister before Amanda's death. She's a petulant idiot some of the time, and really, really annoying all of the time.

Second, the dynamic between Stephen and Gillian is Just Too Weird. Whereas a naughtier book containing an actual sex scene could've taken this premise way down the D/s path that it obviously wanted to go (seriously, the title is Rules for a Lady and I alone could think of at least a dozen naughty ones), the plot instead waffles between Stephen as authority figure and Stephen as lover, and it doesn't seem to work.

Anyway, I hope you can forgive my lack of patience for this book, but it took me a long time to read and, as I've said about eighty times now, was really boring. Here's hoping the next one is better.

*Sorry about the cop-out on the plot summary. From what I remember, Gillian steals her half-sister's identity and goes to London to seduce a rich man. Because it would be such a faux pas to marry her guardian, she ends up settling for (and I think marrying) another dude. But he's a pretty cool guy and realizes that Gillian is in love with Stephen, so he sort of fades into the woodwork or something, and Stephen's uppity mother reveals that she's totally reinvented other lady-bastards before Gillian, and it won't be a problem now. Also I'm pretty sure Gillian's mom dies before any of this gets resolved.

The he drew near and saw the warmth of her green eyes. In that moment he knew he had misjudged her. She was not an angel of the fall, but of the spring, of new life throwing off its heavy winter covering. Her eyes were lush and dark like a primordial forest. And when she became angry, they darkened like a spring storm flashing lightning bolts of fury at him.

"This is absolutely amazing stonework. How was it done?" She knew Stephen was not fooled. She had no true interest in masonry.

She had never seen Stephen in his finest evening wear, and he literally took her breath away.

She would never look like a mummy. She was too colorful a person, too bright a soul ever to fit that description.

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