June 1, 2016
He's not worthy - he's not worthy.
Bummer time. It's been only two days since I finished reading To Lure a Proper Lady and
I cannot remember too much about this story. To Lure a Proper Lady by Ashlyn Macnamara is the first book in the Duke-Defying Daughters series and came out in March of 2016. This is also one of the books I chose to read based on a glowing review from AAR. For me this book was decent, but there wasn't anything about it that stuck with me long after I closed it. On top of that, there was a little irritate that keep raising its head all the way through - we shall explore that later.
In To Lure a Proper Lady we are introduced to the Wilde sisters - Elizabeth, the eldest, the organizer, the runner of the estate - Caro, she likes horses and dresses in pants - Pippa, I believe she is the artistic quiet one. All of these women are unmarried and want to stay that way. Their father, the Duke of Sherrington wants them married and when this story begins it seems he is on his death bed - once again playing the guilt card. You see he seems to be a bit of a hypochondriac. To my mind he also seems to be a bit of a slacker seeing as how he leaves the running of the estate to Elizabeth instead of getting his rear end out of bed and doing it himself. But this time his illness sounds alarm bells in Elizabeth's head. She suspects he's being poisoned. She must find a Bow Street investigator/detective/cop/sleuth. Enter Dysart.
You know a guy smoking a cheroot/cigarette/cigar in a book is so much more romantic than the guy smoking in front of you at a ballgame. Even though we hack and cough in real life, (to say nothing of the taste of a cigarette kiss), there is still something evocative about a hunky guy blowing smoke when we view it on the written page. Smoke (if written right) can create a powerful scene, it can tell us a lot about the character. In this book it does. This is how we are introduced to Dysart, with a cheroot in his mouth, surrounded by bluish smoke. It's his prop. It hides his true self - makes him mysterious. In this case it also gives off the impression that Dysart is one smart guy - initially. Let me say this about his skills as a Bow Street whatever - a good thing he had Lizzie there to help solve the mystery. Talk about a Velma/Scooby Doo team. Dysart would be Scooby Doo and Lizzie would be Velma. Ruh oh. Actually Lizzie and Dysart are a cute couple. There banter is funny and they work together pretty well - if only Dysart wasn't so distracted by Lizzie. Ruh oh.
He's one of us. Let's talk about my little distracting irritate. Spoiler - sort of. As I mentioned before Elizabeth is a Duke's daughter - so she is a Lady. Dysart knows this, which I guess is why he considers himself "not worthy." How do I know he's not worthy? Because he says it about a gazillion times in this book. Now, I would agree with him if he was talking about his detective work, but I don't think that's what he meant. I'm not sure why he considers himself not worthy. Oh sure, he's got a secret and this secret is actually pretty hero-worthy. He's almost a super-hero with all the goodness packed inside of his little ol' heart. Soooo, I guess it's because Elizabeth is a Duke's daughter and he is a lowly Bow Street runner/detective/whatever - but wait! There's actually another secret - he is an Earl's son. I did not pull out the long list of peerage naming, but I think if Elizabeth were to marry Dysart she would still be a Lady. Oh sure, she would have to walk behind her sisters and sit someplace else at the dinner table - but what the hey. I didn't get it - at least if the reason he's not worthy is because of his rank. Let's be honest here - just how many Duke's sons are out there? Going hand and hand with the irritating "not worthy" was the irritating "he's one of us." Elizabeth is the one who kept saying "he's one of us." What does that mean? She would look at Dysart, discount his many disguises and state "he's one of us." Does that mean he's noble, so he's one of us? Or did he arrive in a pod? He's one of us - oooooooooo. Regardless of whether he a pod person or a secret aristocrat I found "he's one of us" annoying.
Overall, this book took me a long time to read and it shouldn't have. The book just didn't pull me into the pages. Dysart and Elizabeth could have been interesting, but there just wasn't anything about them which was memorable. I was a little disappointed because for me this was just an average read.
Time/Place: 1820s England