An Inconvenient Kiss by Caroline Kimberly
Carina Press, July 14, 2014 (Historical Romance)*
My rating: Beach Vacation (3/5)
An Inconvenient Kiss was an unusual historical romance as it wasn’t set in the ballrooms of the ton, and I enjoyed this change of pace immensely. It was lush and exotic and the perfect summer escape read.
Georgianna Phillips was enjoying the season and batting off the suitors when one indiscretion forced her from her charmed life. When Georgianna refused to name the man that kissed her, she was shipped off to France to live with her cousin. Over the years Georgianna has managed to make a life for herself and her cousin by assisting their grandfather in writing his travel journals. She has seen far more of the world than she would have as a sheltered young lady, but rumours of her wild lifestyle continue to follow her, giving her an unwarranted reputation.
When her grandfather decides to visit India, Georgianna is forced to deal with her past when Simon Ashford is ordered to usher her around the city. His real mission, outlined by Georgianna’s brother, is to make sure that she stays out of trouble and bring no more scandal to her family’s name. The problem is that Simon was the man Georgianna kissed, and she refused his subsequent proposal of marriage (who want to marry out of duty anyway?). However, neither has forgotten their connection and an Indian adventure might just be the perfect way to rekindle their romance.
An Inconvenient Kiss was a fun read. I loved the Indian setting and I’m fascinated and interested in colonialism during this period. While An Inconvenient Kiss didn’t recognize the negative aspects of the British in Indian, the atmosphere was one I enjoyed reading about. I think the character’s attitude’s towards this new land was fairly common. Georgianna’s grandfather was an explorer, and while they wanted to showcase local customs, they were always aware of their audience and the dark side of British colonialism doesn’t sell. That said, the author did a fantastic job of creating an exotic atmosphere. India became more than window dressing, which I think is frequently the case in historicals set in a foreign land.
Setting the locale aside, I was left with mixed feelings about the romance. It’s clear from the start that Georgianna and Simon have chemistry and the antagonist relationship when they meet again was great, but it got old quickly. The lack of trust on Georgianna’s part was frustrating since Simon did all that he could to prove himself to her. I would have liked to have seen Georgianna’s trust issues resolved a bit sooner and I think it would have made this a stronger romance overall.
I also had an issue with Georgianna’s brother, Nath. He was absolutely terrible to her and always the first one to believe the rumours about her scandalous past, despite the fact that there was absolutely no basis in fact for them. Naturally, Georgianna is not to pleased to be back in her brother’s proximity. She’s more than aware that her brother isn’t out to protect her but the family name. Yet, but the end, the two seem to have teamed up and reached a reconciliation. For me, this seemed out of character and to have very little basis on any real forgiving feelings between the two of them. I was really interested in the brother-sister relationship and would have actually have liked Georgianna to have knocked some sense into Nath – someone needs to. Perhaps there’s another book in the works with Nath learning his lesson?
Lastly, I feel I have to mention Georgianna’s beauty, mainly because it was brought up so frequently throughout the novel. From the start, Georgianna is considered a beauty, one that attracts the male gaze, and because of the way she looks, everyone assumes that she’s free with her favours. On one hand, I liked the fact that it was brought home that you can’t judge a person on their appearance; however, I felt the mentioning of Georgianna’s beauty got a tad repetitive. Everyone was falling over themselves in Georgianna’s presence and I’m just not sure I’m convinced that so many people (ie. men) would be so foolish. Simon was obviously set up as the only sensible option and a refreshing change for Georgianna.
Ultimately, this was a fun read. The adventure in the Indian jungle was amusing and the entire book was fast-paced. While I thought there were some areas for improvement, I do think this is a great book for some escapist reading. The author is one that I will continue to watch for.
*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
If you like the Indian setting in this one as well as Simon’s role as a prescribed guard for hellion, give Lauren Willig’s The Betrayal of the Blood Lily a try. Blood Lily is part of a series, but for the most part it can stand alone.
For another adventure in foreign lands, give The Other Guy’s Bride a try. The hero takes it upon himself to protect the heroine and get’s a lot more than he bargains for. It’s never fun falling in love with someone when they are supposedly engaged to another.