HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY – Katharine Ashe
A Falcon Club Novel , Book 2
At Sea; Boston, USA; Trinidad; London and Devonshire, England
Can a man of mixed Egyptian and English blood, who was sold into slavery as a young boy and rescued at nine by a slightly older youth, then spent years living with hate and taking it out on the world, ever rehabilitate himself? It began at sea during the Napoleonic wars when the notorious pirate known as the Pharaoh became a privateer for the British Admiralty. He took enough prizes during his career at sea to become a very wealthy man. He also began taking commissions for a secret group at the Home Office known as The Falcon Club. All this time his conscience was doing its work and there came a time when Captain Jinan Seton of the Cavalier decided to pay back the person who gave him his freedom and a chance to succeed. Alex, his friend of long ago, is now the Earl of Savege. His beloved wife Serena lost her younger sister years ago when Viola was kidnapped by smugglers. Everyone but Serena believes Viola is dead, so Jinan sets out to find her. It takes him two years to do so, but not until she finds him first.
Viola's first ten years were spent as the much loved daughter of the Baron of Carlyle and his wife. It was only when she was taken by smugglers from America that she learned her real father was an Irish sailor based in Boston. Finding it impossible to get back home, she finally settled in and spent the warm months at sea with her father. When her father died two years ago, Viola became Captain Violet le Vile of the April Storm . She serves as a privateer for the State of Massachusetts. For some reason, she's able to sneak up on the Cavalier and fire upon it. A battle ensues, but the Cavalier sinks and its crew is taken aboard the April Storm . That's quite a coup, sinking such a famous ship captained by the notorious Pharaoh. But now what is Viola to do with her prisoners…especially with the arrogant, cold-eyed, deliciously handsome captain?
Battles of will between two strong personalities are a foregone conclusion. Action moves from Boston to Trinidad to England as Jinan tries to convince Viola to return to her original family. If she does, what kind of welcome will she receive? How would she fit in with the aristocracy; her sister is now a countess, after all. Can she give up the respect and freedom she earned as captain of her ship?
HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY is very much a character driven novel, what with Jinan trying to atone for his past and Violet learning to be a proper lady, while both fight the intense attraction between them. That does not mean a lack of plot, however; there are dangers and adventures aplenty to keep up the suspense. The supporting cast is colorful and varied, some met in earlier works.
While I very much enjoyed HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY, I admit to not having read the first book of the Falcon Club series (WHEN A SCOT LOVES A LADY) so I had questions about the club and its members, as well as the correspondence between its secretary and the mysterious Lady Justice. Therefore, for full enjoyment of HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY, you might want to start with the prequel. It would also be helpful to read CAPTURED BY A ROGUE LORD, the second in the Rogues of the Sea trilogy, starring Alex and Viola's sister Serena Carlyle. You'd be rewarded with sexy, fun, exciting, and humorous reading by all.