Willful Impropriety: 13 Tales of Society, Scandal, and Romance

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The Season has finally arrived, filled with the magnificent balls, scandalous gossip, and clandestine romances that every lord and lady in good society has come to expect. But far within the walls of lavish estates and in the dark corners of the city lies a world that the aristocracy dares not touch, with rules and risks that glamour cannot overpower. Yet true love has no boundaries, and heiresses and street thieves alike must use their savvy and strength to create new beginnings and happily-ever-afters. ...

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The Season has finally arrived, filled with the magnificent balls, scandalous gossip, and clandestine romances that every lord and lady in good society has come to expect. But far within the walls of lavish estates and in the dark corners of the city lies a world that the aristocracy dares not touch, with rules and risks that glamour cannot overpower. Yet true love has no boundaries, and heiresses and street thieves alike must use their savvy and strength to create new beginnings and happily-ever-afters. Sometimes luck is enough, but every once in a while, a touch of magic may be needed.

Deliciously alluring, these thirteen historical romances from a talented array of YA authors will make even the most cynical heart swoon.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Elisabeth Greenberg
These thirteen tales all deal with choices set in fantastical, realistic, or imagined worlds in which convention is the norm. While the book hardly lives up to its back cover copy, "deliciously alluring...will make even the most cynical heart swoon," much of the language does live up to cover copy style. Protagonists range from the strong woman following her own instincts to characters flirting with cross-dressing, either as a safety measure or a free choice. Some protagonists celebrate the fluidity and expansiveness of the human character, such as Leanne Reiber's Portia Nightingale, while others, such as Stephanie Burgis's Agatha Tremaine, offer examples of sheer determination to discover the self, despite the world's pressures. Some stories, such as Marie Brennan's intrigue about a young woman midshipman taking her brother's place, perfectly capture the language and situations of a historical period romance to include a duel set in the midst of a sea of secret love, cowardice, betrayal, and bravery. However, another fantasy by Seth Caden edges closer to a blending of gender as a group of renegade artists celebrates their creativity and gifts. Like many collections, this is a book to dip in and out of, reading a story or two at a time. May particularly attract the LGBT teen. Reviewer: Elisabeth Greenberg
VOYA - Mirta Espinola
With a litany of wondrous stories reminiscent of Pride And Prejudice and Dangerous Liaisons, this book brings us a smorgasbord of good reading. The protagonist, Agatha, in “The Unladylike Education of Agatha Tremain,” battles her aunt for her life and station as the lady of the manor. To her disbelief, her father takes her aunt’s side to marry off Agatha. Agatha concocts a plan using magic to foil her aunt, which she does and leaves them living together in the manor, but not in the manner her aunt would have liked. In “Resurrection,” a progressive story of two women who marry and live happily ever after seems to take place in a time when this would have not been commonly accepted. Born to poverty, Jonathon, a woman, lives his life as a thief, then a messenger. An unlikely encounter with a young woman, Wilhemina, a doctor’s daughter, spurs Jonathon to become a doctor as well. In this story, love can conquer all and anything is possible. The various fictional stories in this book are mystical and enchanting, and are a throwback from a time when stories like Little Women were popular. In rare form, they offer a twist to pique anyone’s curiosity. With a spoon of romance, a helping of scandal, and a portion of society, this book is meant to be read with a blanket and a cup of something hot. These authors are talented and bring tasty morsels of words to be devoured. Ages 11 to Adult.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762444304
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,332,389
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Ekaterina Sedia is an author, editor, and professor of botany and plant ecology. She is the author of The House of Discarded Dreams, The Secret History of Moscow, and The Alchemy of Stone. You can visit her online at www.ekaterinasedia.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by Ekaterina Sedia
"At Will" by Leanna Renee Hieber (The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker; three-time Prism Award winner)
"The Unladylike Education of Agatha Tremain" by Stephanie Burgis (Kat, Incorrigible and Renegade Magic)
"Nussbaum's Golden Fortune" by M. K. Hobson (The Native Star and The Hidden Goddess; Pushcart Prize and Nebula Award nominee)
"The Colonel's Daughter" by Barbara Roden
"Mercury Retrograde" by Mary Robinette Kowal (Shades of Milk and Honey)
"False Colors" by Marie Brennan
"Mrs. Beeton's Book of Magickal Management" by Karen Healey (Guardian of the Dead and The Shattering; William C. Morris Award finalist)
"The Language of Flowers" by Caroline Stevermer
"The Dancing Master" by Genevieve Valentine (Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti)
"The Garden of England" by Sandra McDonald (Diana Cornet and Other Improbable Stories, Lambda Award winner)
"Resurrection" by Tiffany Trent (Hallowmere series)
"Outside the Absolute" by Seth Cadin
"Steeped in Debt to the Chimney Pots" by Steve Berman (Vintage: A Ghost Story)

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Scandalous Historical Stories

    Simply put, this is an anthology of 13 historical stories that include everything from society, scandal, and romance such as the following.

    “At Will” by Leanna Renee Hieber – This story is about a young lady, Portia, that has been raised in theater. Because of her skill acting in both male and female roles she has become a prized character that is brought into society as a companion of one of societies more known males, Mr. Rothschild. It’s where she fits into the role that is the issue.

    “The Unladylike Education of Agatha Tremain” by Stephanie Burgis – Agatha has taken to running her father’s house while he engrosses himself in his studies. But her aunt doesn’t see this as proper training for a young lady and steps in to make Agatha a proper lady.

    “Nussbaum’s Golden Fortune” by M. K. Hobson – Nussbaum is a gentleman with bad luck. He owes some powerful people a lot of money. He goes to his old friend Oesterlische for help selling a magical map. But things go wrong when the map and Oesterlische’s fiancé are held for ransom.

    These historical based stories are about things that were not as acceptable then as they are now and how people stepped out of the normal rules to follow their hearts. I really liked the concept of the stories. My personal favorite was The Unladylike Education of Agatha Tremain. She has spunk and even though she is forced into following societies rules, she rises above them at the end.

    I will be honest, this is one book that I did have a hard time sticking with. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the book was horrible, it was quiet good. It’s just one that I have been looking at for several months and just can’t finish. Please don’t let this statement ruin your opinion of the book.

    If you like historical stories and those where people find ways to rise above their lot in life, then you will enjoy this book.

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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