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A Gentleman Undone

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Yet another concoction of unique plots and carefully built chara

    Yet another concoction of unique plots and carefully built characters

    Grant’s second installment in the Blackshear family series proves to be composed of just as unique a premise as her first novel A Lady Awakened. You’ve got the whore and the wounded third son a.k.a. the soldier. Anyone familiar with regency romance knows that the third son is always stuck with the soldier job – either that or become a preacher. Though I suppose either would do as even regency ladies loved a man in uniform…so suited up for God or Her Royal Army, either promises enough pounds a year for a more than respectful living.

    But back to our specific third son: Will Blackshear. First off he’s done with the job of war. Scarred by the sight of too much death, broken by one death in particular, Will finds himself a few promises deep into needing money. Money, he’s decided to grow out of his sold commission in the fertile soil of card tables. Here he finds more than he bargained for in our whore. Lydia is the [high-class] mistress of an acquaintance of Will’s. He notices her at first sight not for her beauty, but for her concentration and ability to play cards. Lydia, like her predecessor Martha, is by far the more interesting character of the pair.

    Lydia began her life as an actual Lady.

    Yep. A woman with a good family and decent prospects at a uniformed man of her own in holy matrimony. I won’t spoil her tale into the sordid world of ‘the other woman’ but I will tell you that her story has far more depth than a formerly rich girl needing quick and dirty money. We already know what happens in that plot: The woman always finds some rake who will take her virginity and end up marrying her in a very proper ceremony…they all live happily ever after. And I’m not dismissing the enjoyment of a plot like that. I’m just sayin’ that Lydia’s realistic fall and equally realistic ending are not trite. They’re rife with trauma and emotion. They’ve made her the perfect woman for a wounded soldier like Will.

    But even more interesting than the extra care given to Lydia’s back-story is that she’s really not all that unhappy being a mistress. Nope. She’s got a decent sugar daddy, racks of clothing, the freedom to habitate gambling hells, and a really good sex life…that she enjoys to its fullest extent. Being a mistress isn’t the worst ending Lydia could have had. It isn’t until she’s given the chance she thought she’d lost all those years ago that she reconsiders her enjoyment in her profession.

    However, while Grants plot and characters again BLOW ME AWAY, I will admit I liked the first in this series better than the second.

    Shoot me. I’m always going against the Goodreads grain.

    My main issue was with Lydia. I don’t think that her character was as fleshed out as she could have been. Grant created a quagmire of issues that were so deliciously unique and interesting. I just didn’t feel that at the end of this story Lydia was fully figured out. I could have used a little more time with her. Case in point was Lydia working through untangling her use of sex: 1. her love of sex, 2. mistress sex, and 3. love sex. I think because she enjoyed sex so much it was difficult for her to break through her hard-core mistress sex (a.k.a. sex for sex’s sake) and learn to have loving sex with Will (a.k.a. sex to build a closer connection with your partner). Because really, most people enjoy a smattering of both. Even if we aren’t all 19th century harlots. But since it was a huge part of Lydia’s transformation to find the difference between the two, I’ll just say it was difficult for me to see the sexual change in her.

    Rating: 3.5/5 Yet another concoction of unique plots and carefully built characters. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

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