A Man Above Reproach was surprisingly engaging and entertaining. At first glance it would read like a typical historical romance, but, what fully holds your attention is the dialogue between the bluestocking and the duke. This is not a full plot propelled story but more of character driven. The core is the interaction and the eventual developing relationship between Elias and Josephine. The usual societal obstacles of being from two different worlds to what is expected by society in terms of a perfect match is more a catalyst rather than the main story. I loved the dialogue between these two. The banters, the wittiness positively sizzled. The usual misunderstanding, the hesitancy in giving in to the romance, its so deftly written that you simply will never get bored. The secondary characters, although not fully fleshed out, has enough depth to give the story that extra something, making it more captivating. In many ways it gave me that vibe when reading an Austen book but in its own totally unique way. Evelyn Pryce is one author whose work I would gladly read more of.
*The ARC of this novel was provided by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review*
2013 Winner - Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award: Romance
In 1830s London, scandalized whispers surround the pub known as The Sleeping Dove. A hidden bordello, the rumors say, catering to straying nobles eager to shed the trappings of their stations. Josephine Grant knows the rumors are true--she plays piano at the Dove, known only as "The Bawdy Bluestocking" to the pub's faithful. Tales swirl as to her real origin: some patrons claim that she was an orphan prodigy, others go so far as to name her concubine to the King.The society ladies call the reluctant Duke of Lennox "The Uncatchable," not that he cares for them or their nicknames. Elias Addison's estate was thrust upon him when his father died and it has been little else but a burden. He spends his days mired in responsibilities and his nights pursued at endless balls by fortune-hunting debutantes. He is morose, serious, and tense. When a friend brings him to the Sleeping Dove in an attempt to lighten his mood, the consequences of those good intentions are far greater. When the Duke of Lennox finds himself at the Bawdy Bluestocking's piano, they begin to play a dangerous melody. Though Elias cannot resist courting Josie, she has a past to protect, a shaky future, and no time for frivolous nobility with soft hands. When the Duke uncovers the truth, will he wish he had never begun the tune?
Title: A Man Above Reproach
Author: Evelyn Pryce
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Rating: ♨♨♨♨ 4 of 5 (Simply enchanting, memorable characters and witty dialogue, historical romance readers would definitely enjoy this one)