To Lure a Proper Lady by Ashlyn Macnamara
Loveswept: March 29, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher
To Lure a Proper Lady is the first of a new series from historical romance author Ashlyn Macnamara. This book had me as soon as it was revealed that the hero would be a Bow Street Runner. Class conflict? Count me in!
Lady Elizabeth Wilde has sought out the assistance of the famed Bow Street Runners when she suspects that her father is being poisoned. Unfortunately, her first meeting of Dysart doesn’t exactly demonstrate his competence. Despite her first impression, Elizabeth agrees with Dysart’s plan to discover the poisoner. And Elizabeth learns that there’s much more going on below the surface of Dysart’s rough facade. The majority of Lure a Proper Lady takes place at Elizabeth’s home during a house party her ill father demands be held. Elizabeth’s father, convinced of his imminent death, would love to see his daughters settled before he shuffles off to his mortal coil. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, she is none too fond of her father’s choice and much too intrigued by the mysterious Dysart and his unexpected knowledge of the ways of the upper echelon. And when, through the course of their investigation, they’re thrown together again and again, it’s all too clear that both are willing to cast aside their very different social statuses and act on their attraction.
For the most part, I enjoyed To Lure a Proper Lady. The premise was good and the romance between the two main characters was done well. The mystery of the poisoner didn’t overwhelm the plot, nor did I expect it to in a romance. The romance was definitely the main focus of the story, as were the hang ups of the characters. In particular, it was Dysart’s attitude that I found somewhat tiring. Throughout the majority of the book Dysart continually laments the fact that he’s not good enough for Elizabeth. He’s not of the same class; hence, they have no future together. Yeah that makes sense, but I personally felt that this concern got old. Dysart needed to get some self confidence and trust that Elizabeth knew what she was doing by getting involved with him. For me, the conflict of the classes dragged out far too long, especially when it didn’t seem like all that much of an obstacle by the end of the book.
Other than wanting more meat to the class difference in the romance, I enjoyed To Lure a Proper Lady. I really enjoyed the stark differences in the seemingly proper Lady Elizabeth and the brash Dysart. They’re interactions with one another were done very well and the author shows a great talent in creating romantic chemistry between her two leads. To Lure a Proper Lady is a nice, romantic read with just a hint of mystery.
Manda Collins is an author that often combines mystery or thriller elements in her historical romances. If you’re looking for one similar to Lure a Proper Lady, try Collins’ holiday novella, Once Upon a Christmas Kiss. This one is short and sweet but it gives you a taste of Collins’ writing, which I find similar to Macnamara’s. See my full review here.
If you like the whole Bow Street Runner hero thing, Sabrina Jeffries’ A Lady Never Surrenders is an excellent follow-up read. There’s also a lot of class difference angst, which I quite enjoyed. The only disclaimer that I have is that A Lady Never Surrenders is a final book in Jeffries’ Hellions series, and it does wrap up a rather important storyline throughout the series.
Lastly, for a historical romance that ramps up the romance while still retaining many of the same appeal factors as To Lure a Proper Lady, try Lisa Kleypas’ Worth Any Price. This one also features a Bow Street Runner as it’s romantic lead. There is a lot of time spent on the development of the hero and heroine’s relationship here, which I really like.