Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle - Project A-Team sort of.

July 8, 2015
Tally, Tilly, Pilly, Pippen, Dippen, Flippen

Nicknames, schmicknames. If you can get past the nicknames, you will find Confessions of a Little Black Gown to be a delightful book. I've mentioned before that I'm enjoying reading
this series more now that I'm reading them one right after the other as opposed to the last time when I read them as they came out. While the books are written as stand-alones, I'm finding they work better when read in close proximity. This is a series full of rich storytelling and great characters - lots of characters.

Confessions of a Little Black Gown begins with our hero, Larken, as a youth witnessing the murder of his father by a shadowy organization of female assassins called the Black Lily. Fast forward. Larken is one of the many spies who seems to inhabit England and he has been told by the head of the spy organization that he must capture and kill Captain Dashwell, who they suspect is hiding out at the Duke of Hollendrake's house party. There is also a strong suspicion that Lady Phillipa Knowles and her cousin Thalia Langley are responsible for breaking Dashwell out of prison. Larken is sent to do the dirty deed and he's in disguise. He is disguised as a mild-mannered vicar, Mr. Ryder. He considers himself a pretty sneaky guy and a master of trickery. No one will be able to see through his camouflage. Enter Thalia Langley.

Thalia Langley, Tally to her friends, is a woman of unconventional upbringing. She dreams of a dangerous man who can sweep her away and fill her nights with thrilling adventures; none of that humdrum stuff for her. So when she hears a deep sensual voice coming from her brother-in-law's library, she thinks she has found him. Then she sees him, and his physical persona doesn't match the stimulating voice that sent chills down her spine. Immediately she suspects something is not quite right. Now, Tally is one smart cookie and her radar is on high alert. The reason for the high alert is because the suspicions of the English spy organization are correct. Tally did help Dashwell escape and she and Pippen (Lady Phillipa Knowles) are hiding him. She is on to Mr. Ryder from almost the very beginning; she knows he isn't who he says he is. She just doesn't know who he is. She sets out to trip him up and make his life harder. And the sparks fly. Larken, like most of Ms. Boyle’s male characters I'm finding out, just doesn't have a chance once he stumbles into Tally's net.

Confessions of a Little Black Gown is a great story, full of adventure, fun, mystery, villains and a wonderful cast of supporting characters.

Let's talk about Felicity. Felicity is Tally's sister and her story was told in Love Letters from a Duke. As I was reading this story it became abundantly clear to me just how much better these stories were when read close together. If I hadn't just read Felicity's story, I would have considered her a mean-spirited, irritating, controlling shrew in this book. However, because her character was so fresh in my mind, I had no problems with her and understood her better this time around. Felicity comes off better than she would if this were just a stand-alone book.

Overall, once again I was happy with my reread of this fun book, which is part of the Bachelor Chronicles. The test is going to be in the next book The Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress, which I don't believe I liked all that much.

Time/Place: Regency England

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