>Book Review: My Unfair Lady by Kathryne Kennedy


My Unfair Lady by Kathryne Kennedy
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (December 1, 2009)
Historical Romance
ISBN-10: 1402229909
Review copy from the publisher
The Burton Review Rating:3 stars

A wild west heiress, Summer Wine Lee knows that she’s not an acceptable bride for her fiance’s knickerbocker family. She grew up in an Arizona mining town, cares more for critters than people, carries a knife under her skirts, and, worst of all, she has a highly improper secret from her past. But she also has high hopes that a real English Duke can teach her how to be a lady…
Were it not for his father’s gambling debts, the Duke of Monchester would never have stooped to civilize Summer. But the more time he spends with her, and the more social scrapes he has to rescue her from, the more he finds it impossible to change her into a proper lady. How could he, when he’s falling in love with her just the way she is?”

Remember that story “My Fair Lady” with Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins? This is the same concept with a blend of both America and England and a larger dash of a southern accent.This novel features Summer Wine Lee… a name that makes you blink.. as it did to the snooty English people she met. Immediately we are transported with her to England to fetch herself some manners, as I had no idea that Americans just didn’t have any in those days. Summer’s rich father was too busy to teach her any apparently, so she goes gallivanting to England to become the Duke of Monchester’s protege of sorts. The book’s cover features the mini blurb: “Who says a proper lady can’t carry a knife?” and it is with this southern attitude that Summer Lee intrigued me as a reader. The Duke is utterly disgusted and yet thrilled by her odd ways, and I was laughing to myself during certain outrageous scenes that were chock full of mirth, knives, chihuahuas, monkeys, and fox pups. Yes, you’ll find the word ‘critters’ more often then you would prefer to, but it added to the charm of Summer and her odd female companion as well.

Summer had her heart set on some old coot in New York, who in reality could care less if she returned to the States or not, and that was the frustration factor for me as a reader. Wake up, Summer! If that snobby Monte doesn’t want you, throw him to the curb! Yet throughout the novel she continues to hold him up on a pedestal and repeats to herself “Monte Monte Monte” so that she remembers the purpose of her travels in England. She is deeply attracted to her instructor, the Duke, but refuses to admit to herself that he could possibly feel the same way. She is not the smartest apple in the basket, but still manages to figure out that there are murderers in their midst before the Duke admits to it himself. There was a small dose of a mystery with the attempts on their life that the two frequently encountered, but the author did not overly dramatize that fact which made the read a bit more satisfying. Instead it just felt like another day in Summer’s world and I enjoyed learning more and more about her as the story progressed. Byron, aka the Duke, was also a pleasurable character and I knew from the start that he would fall in love with her just for the fact that she wasn’t after him. Apparently the Duke was the toast of the town and was tired of being a sought after Duke. But he was a sensitive guy underneath it all, and somewhat close to perfect except for being a bit shorter than one would expect a handsome guy to be.

This is another romance issue from Sourcebooks Casablanca that I enjoyed although perhaps a bit predictable as romances normally are. It was a quick read that didn’t have many sluggish moments and although you knew eventually the two main protagonists would come around and see the light (i.e. fall in love and live happily ever after) I had a lot of fun watching the charades. At 384 pages, I felt it was just the right length so that it wasn’t drawn out and it wasn’t just another stunted effort. I enjoyed the many events that occured along the way, and there were many.. I don’t want to add spoilers but I must say there was more sexual content than was expected, so I feel I must warn you this should have a NC-17 rating. Although I am not used to that much ‘imagination’, I still enjoyed this one and you need to come back later this week (11/18/2009) to the blog to read the author Kathryne Kennedy’s guest post titled “Why I write historical romance…or, why I love it!” and be entered for a giveaway of this new book.


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Filed under Author Post, Kathryne Kennedy, Review, Romance

15 responses to “>Book Review: My Unfair Lady by Kathryne Kennedy

  1. >Sounds good to me; I'll be back!

  2. >Monkeys?I have to read it if only to see how the monkeys fit in.

  3. >I haven't had a chance to read this yet, but am really looking forward to it. Something entertaining. Good review Marie.

  4. >Three stars or no I think I might want to give this a chance. Love stories set in the old west. Thanks for pointing out the sexual content though – that is appreciated.

  5. >This book sounds great! I loved the movie My Fair Lady, and love historical romance. I'll have to give this one a try!

  6. >Here I am finally! Loved your review so much, Marie! I didn't know about lack of American manners at the time either! sounds like a good romance read (nto sure about the too sexual content- though). It is different but does bring some image of my Fair Lady. Thanks!

  7. >I got a preview of the first chapter emailed to be by Kathryne, and I loved it! I can't wait to read the rest of the book.

  8. >Hi :)Thank you very much for the thoughtful indepth review.All the best,RKCharronxoxo

  9. >Your commentary is hilarious, you have definitely peaked my interest!

  10. >I started to comment that I lovedreading historicals because I likedreading about people who didn't haveto work for a living. But then Irealized that keeping up to the typeof schedules followed by these busycharacters is a job in itself!Pat Cochran

  11. >I enjoyed your review – I love historicals – they take you to a place we'll never get to experience.msboatgal at aol.com

  12. >Nice review, thanks. I'm fascinated by it's being set in Victorian times – seems like they're kind of underserved in current romances.

  13. >I just started reading a few historical romance novels and they are engaging. LOL This one sounds like I would really like it. I loved your review. You had me chuckling.Wisteria

  14. >I like that you didn't put any spoilers in your review. Thanks for the NC-17 warning. I would still like to read this book but know that it won't be passed on to my grandma…thanks.

  15. >I loved your "tongue in cheek" review of this book. Despite the predictability of the plot in this book, I'm glad that it remained a good read. Your review creates an image of a book that would be a good diversion for someone traveling or on a summer vacation. Thanks for such a good review and introducing me to the book.bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

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