Monday, June 25, 2012

Special Monday Review: How to Be a Proper Lady

How to Be a Proper Lady
Falcon Club Book #2
By Katharine Ashe
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: June 26, 2012

Viola Carlyle was only ten years old when her biological father, Fionn Daly, abducted her from the Devonshire estate where she had spent the first decade of her life as the cherished daughter of a baron, Lord Carlyle, and his lady wife. Fifteen years later, Viola is Violet la Vile, captain of the April Storm, an American privateer vessel sailing for the state of Massachusetts. Beautiful, confident in her position, adored by her crew, she has buried lingering memories of her other life.

Jinan Seton owes Alex Savege (Captured by a Rogue Lord) his life twice over: the first time when he bought the freedom of the child Jin who had been sold into slavery and the second time when he had taken an angry, self-destructive adolescent aboard the Cavalier and given him a chance to grow to manhood. Alex’s purpose now it to make his wife happy, and Serena Savege clings to the belief that her younger sister Viola is alive. Nothing would add more to Serena's happiness with Alex that a reunion with her sister. Nothing will keep Jin from finding Viola Carlyle and returning her to the family who loves her. He will use all the skills honed in service to the Falcon Club to complete this search and repay his debt to Alex.

Even Captain Violet la Vile’s sinking his beloved Cavalier and having him thrown in an American jail doesn’t lessen his determination to see her become Viola Carlyle again and restored to her rightful place. If he has to sign on as her second-in-command, he will; if he has to accept a wager that she can make him fall in love with her to get her safely back to England, he will. But Jin has no idea how that wager will test him nor the price it will exact from him. And Viola has no idea that the infamous Pharaoh whose ship she sank successfully will come to rule her heart and threaten the world she has carefully constructed to replace what she lost.

Katharine Ashe continues to intrigue readers with her Falcon Club series by creating extraordinary characters with histories that set them apart from run-of-the-mill heroes and heroines and endowing these characters with intelligence, courage, and humor. Viola and Jin are memorable characters. I was rooting for them both from the beginning.

The second part of the story could easily have seemed anticlimactic once Viola and Jin arrive in England, but Ashe adds sufficient complications to keep her readers engaged. Neither the plot nor the relationship between Viola and Jin loses steam. And while I admit to some uneasy moments when Viola's feelings for Jin seem to have diminished her admirable capabilities as an intelligent, independent woman, in the end she shows that the spirit of Violet la Vile is still alive.
Pirates seem to be enjoying a new surge in popularity, and How to Be a Proper Lady, despite its title, combines enough of the old school dash with a more contemporary flavor to be a welcome addition to the lists. If you’ve read Captured by a Rogue Lord and When a Scot Loves a Lady, you definitely don’t want to miss this one. If you haven’t read Ashe before, you will appreciate this book, especially if you like pirate stories or if you like variety in your romances. I think the book works well as a standalone, although you may miss some of the nuances. 

Falcon Club membership is now down to three. I’m wondering of that means three more books. I’m particularly eager to know more of Colin Gray and “Lady Justice.”

How do you feel about pirate books? Do you have a favorite?


Kathleen O said...

I love Pirate romance stories..I cut my teeth on them and when the Pirate captian is a woman, it just makes it all the better.. I remember back to reading Skye O'Malley by Beatrice Small, where Skye was the captian of her ship..I have the first book in theis series, although I have not read it yet.. I am looking forward to reading all of these books.

Janga said...

Kathleen, I really like that I can depend on Ashe for romances that are different from the usual. I hope you enjoy the series.

Ninelle Wasserman said...

I've read it, recommend it to everyone! laplallpa500