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A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family #2)

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,101 ratings  ·  189 reviews
A seductive beauty turns the tables on a gentleman gaming for the guiltiest of pleasures in this rich and sensual Regency romance from beloved newcomer Cecilia Grant.

Lydia Slaughter understands the games men play—both in and out of the bedroom. Not afraid to bend the rules to suit her needs, she fleeces Will Blackshear outright. The Waterloo hero had his own daring agenda
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Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Jill

"Honor is the best part of you Will Blackshear. And I don't make that pronouncement lightly. No woman could, who's ever seen you naked."

Will Blackshear has returned from the Battles of Waterloo and Quatre Bras a broken man. Haunted by the death of his friend Talbot, he is desperate for funds to secure the future of Talbot's widow. As a youngest son with no fortune his only hope of quickly accruing the capital he needs to invest, is at the gaming tables.

Lydia Slaughter is another man's mistress.
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willaful
I'm envisioning Grant sitting down to work on this and musing to herself, "Hmmm, what romance convention shall I skewer today?" Our heroine Lydia is a courtesan, formerly a prostitute. She's a courtesan who enjoys her work -- or at least, some aspects of it.

"With all the insolence she swallowed, it was a wonder her corsets still laced. Retort after rejoinder after sharp-edged remark: Why do you address me? What can I possibly have to say to a man who would split a pair of fives? Be quiet. Go to
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Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Nov 08, 2012 Anna (Bobs Her Hair) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Romance fans
4.5 stars…Eloquent, natural, sensual…Sympathetic, daring, imperfect characters…You must read Cecilia Grant!

After a second read, I still love this book! Cecelia Grant is sitting pretty on a custom-made pedestal! Why? She provides compelling relief in a sea of monotonous romance novels. If you think you’ve read it all and believe you can predict what will happen next in a romance, then you haven’t read A Lady Awakened or A Gentleman Undone! The only thing guaranteed is a happy ending.

”I begin to
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♡Karlyn P♡
As much as I loved the first book in the series, this one almost became a DNF. I'm glad I stuck it through as it ended up being better than I feared, but it wasn't a win for me.

Why? This book includes a plot line that I particularly don't like: a courtesan as the heroine. But I love this author's writing and I had hoped she could make it work for me. Unfortunately, I really didn't care for the heroine, or about the romance.

Then there was the card playing. On...and on...and on. I struggled with b
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new_user
Nov 02, 2012 new_user rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Supremely patient readers
Shelves: historical
OMG, Michael Ende, you were wrong. This is the neverending story. My lament for the better part of A Gentleman Undone receded at four-star moments, leaving me to scratch my head now.

Cecilia Grant's voice remains intelligent and insightful. She understands and fleshes her characters better than most and with impeccable prose and such a human familiarity. Couples from A Lady Awakened and A Gentleman Undone respectively, Theo, Martha, Will, and Lydia never mimic cardboard. They're three-dimensional
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Rachel (BAVR)
Apparently, all it takes is a mistress with rough sexual appetites and an ex-military hero without all the woobie rake angst to squeeze 5 stars from my cold, dead hands. Granted, A Gentleman Undone is barely a literary masterpiece, but it ranks worlds above the rest of the regency crap I've been reading lately. If more authors would write like Cecilia Grant, then maybe I wouldn't bitch so much about the tepid quality of historical romance these days.

SUMMARY:
When Will Blackshear (former lieuten
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Willow
This book was an excellent surprise. I did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did. In fact, I’m a little surprised I decided to read it considering I wasn’t too crazy about A Lady Awakened. One thing I can say though, Cecilia Grant writes some of the most intriguing characters in romance fiction.

Basically the story is about an ex-soldier and a courtesan working together to make some fast money at cards. Lydia Slaughter has a mathematical gift and can count cards like a pro, but she needs a
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Brittany B.
***Upon reread of select parts:

This book did not immediately engage me, neither did the characters. Cecilia Grant has written a very different story from her debut novel A Lady Awakened, a 5star novel that I absolutely adored. In this second novel, the tone is far more bleak and ominous, the circumstances are darker, and the characters are flawed to a frustrating degree. However, I have grown to appreciate the characters and their dark circumstances. The book is thoughtful and well-written, but
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Fani
2.5 stars
I finished this book yesterday and still can't settle between a 2 and a 3 stars' rating. The first half was noticeably better than the second IMO, even though there was little to no romance there. Still, the writing was very good and both main characters were likeable until that point. However, when the heroes let go of blackjack and 21 lessons, and start indulging in their passion and need, the book surprisingly took a turn for the worse for me. The hero who was nice until then, if a l
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Caz
I think that Cecilia Grant’s début book, A Lady Awakened was one of the best historical romances I’ve read in a long time. Not only was it very well-written, but the plotline was original, something that can be hard to find in the genre. (I’m not knocking the tried-and-tested plotlines; some of them are incredibly well done, it’s just refreshing to find something different for a change!) So naturally, I’ve been looking forward to her follow-up novel ever since I finished the first one.

Once again
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Cecilia
I read this in basically one sitting, and I think Cecilia Grant might be one of my new favourite authors, an auto-buy despite the fact that $10 for an ebook (when it's a paperback DTB) makes me want to grind my teeth. Anyway, that's clearly a tangent, and a cliche that I should probably delete; what matters is that Grant's writing is very fine - the language use is sensitive and intelligent, not florid for the sake of trying to be impressive, and not sentimental. Characterizations are complex an ...more
Sue Grimshaw
Readers who enjoyed Cecilia's first book will want to read her next story - another cleverly written historical where our heroine is a card shark & teaches our hero (Martha's brother from A Lady Awakened) the tricks of the trade. There is nothing soft or sweet about this story, it is all about love and survival - intriguing to say the least -

readers who enjoy Joanna Bourne or Courtney Milan will enjoy this story.

Book Copy:

Lydia Slaughter understands the games men play—both in and out of the
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Kinga
When I read Cecilia Grant's debut novel I decided she was the author I should keep tabs on. And she proved my initial assessment was correct. While Sherry Thomas is still God of historical romance to me, Cecilia Grant is now hot on her heels.

If she keeps improving with every book like that, she might very well soon find the romance genre too limiting for her and end up winning a Pulitzer or something. I kid you not. If there is such a thing as a 'literary romance', this is it. None of the auburn
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Ewa
This story wasn't exactly in my comfort zone.

In the previous book we had a heroine who was emotionally detached. She didn't like sex but for the sake of greater good she engaged in carnal relations with hero from the beginning of the story.
Here we have another emotionally detached woman who actually LIKES sex but she won't have it with hero. For a better part of the book she sleeps with her "protector" and our hero actually witnesses these acts twice.
This is something that puts me off. I don'
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Aspoon
Yeah...NOT GOOD! First off, the only thing I can say I learned from this book was how to "card count" that's about it. This is not a love story in my opinion. It was a lot and I mean A LOT of "card counting" talk and it didn't bother me so much that the heroine was a courtesan, it did bother me that she was a trashy courtesan. I didn't like how aggressive she was towards Will during their first intimate contact...gee wiz, she scared that man half to death that he cried off lol. And I didn't like ...more
Carrie Olguin
DNF.

I had trouble getting into this story. The hero is a gambler and the heroine a whore.

The first chapter, about the hero (an officer) carrying one of his dritically injured men to the battle field hospital, didn't ring true to me.

As an officer, he would have had had the authority to organize the chaos around him, such as comandeering transportation and ordering uninjured men to move the injured men. He behaved like a foot soldiar, not like an officer.

And then he's in a gambling establishment
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Jennifer
Yum. Shivers and goosebumps, at the end there, and maybe a near eye watering. Loved it. Lydia was one spiky dame, all prickly and sharp, but very very hot. Great take on a courtesan. Will was worthy, of course, but she stole the show. And this was one case where the cameo from the previous couple in the series practically made me cry. I hate cameos! I hate spawn of cameos! What is happening to me? Why am I grinning?

Ahem.

Also, this was a scorcher. And it appears her next in the series stars a Ke
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Emma
Courtesans are not my favorite characters. Its a wonder I enjoyed this book that much really. Lydia was not your usual courtesan either. She keeps having sex (and enjoying it too !) throughout the book with her protector.... But somehow Cecilia Grant did it. She made me care for the characters and believe in their romance. The resolution was both happy and realistic. Will was an amazing beta hero and certainly the reason behind my 4 stars rating. That and Cecilia Grant spotless writing. ...more
Steelwhisper
This was trying to retcon the Regency era, and not in any way more palatable than A Lady Awakened.

Once again I had very basic problems with digesting the prose. Apparently I am not the target audience, I do like sparse, but I want elegant instead of dry.

The other problem is how the author tried to milk Regency stereotypes to come up with a halfway "modern" narrative, with characters she apparently believes are more comprehensible to modern readers and sensitivities. Unfortunately that's not at
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sraxe
I really liked Lydia and Will when I started this book. I enjoyed their playful banter and the underscoring of innuendo in their exchanges and preferred the cards and gambling over the land management of the first book. I still like Theo a lot more than I did Will, though I did prefer Lydia to Martha.

Then, maybe about two-thirds in or so...it just took a turn and I was no longer enjoying them together anymore. The situations got a bit ridiculous, for one, but I think it was around the time that
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Samantha
I previously read Cecilia Grant's debut and first installment in the Blackshear Family series, A Lady Awakened. I was really impressed by that romance, but I can honestly say that I loved A Gentleman Undone even more. This book is very different from A Lady Awakened-(less humorous and more dark, set in London and it's gaming halls versus a country farming estate)-but it still has Grant's trademark excellent writing. It does have characters from the first installment (Martha! Theo!) and we get to ...more
Mandi Schreiner
Will Blackshear returns from war with a heavy heart. He carried one of his critically wounded men from the battlefield to several hospitals, trying to get him help, to no avail. Right before the soldier's death, Will promised he would take care of his wife and child. But Will doesn't have the money to just hand over to this woman. He agrees to invest 3,000 pounds in a shipping company a friend is starting up, knowing he will eventually have a great share of the profits. But first he needs to rai ...more
Jennifer
Cecilia Grant was one of my favorite debut authors last year. The first book in her Blackshear Family series, A Lady Awakened, was well-written and showed definite promise. Due to my enjoyment of that book, I was overjoyed to receive an ARC of the next book in the series, A Gentleman Undone. And I am happy to report that this book exceeded my expectations and really makes Cecilia Grant one to watch over the next few years.

One thing that I noticed in this book, and her earlier one, was that Ms. G
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Jennifer
This is a super hard book for me to review. The story, characters, and theme are super ambitious. Grant is reaching for something new and different; I appreciate and admire all that she was going for. But, I think in the beginning of this review you can see why it gets three stars for me. Reading this book was like looking at a piece of art I understood on an intellectual level but didn't move me on an emotional one.

Some of my reserve might have come from the detail. Grant immerses you in the mi
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Jennifer McQuiston
I am such a fan of Cecilia Grant that I suffer symptoms of withdrawal upon finishing her books. In A Gentleman Undone, Ms. Grant does not disappoint. This is a classic tale of tortured hero meets the woman who will save him. Only this is no case of opposites attract - in fact, the author leaves the reader wondering if a happily ever after is just too difficult, right up until THE END. Prepare yourself to have your expectations of a historical romance ripped apart. This book is no ordinary "boy m ...more
Lynne
This was an excellent read, and a breath of fresh air. So rarely do you see two truly broken people, both with, essentially, PTSD, navigating their pointy bits to form an alliance in Regency England. Sharp dialogue, compelling hero and heroine, excellent plot. I especially enjoyed that this is the story of a youngest son and a "fallen" woman to begin with--it's a redemption story for the characters who are often the side-plot tragedies in other Regency romances. Absolutely excellent, and I'll be ...more
Summer
I am not a romance reader, but I've been trying to get out of my genre comfort zone lately and this one received some starred reviews, so I thought, "why not?!" And now, I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND why people read romances. Maybe this one is better than most, but it had well-developed characters, a strong sense of place, both geographically and culturally speaking, and was just an absolute joy to read. It was playful, intelligent, and suspenseful. And -hoo wee!- was it sexy! I'll be reading Ms. Grant's ...more
Chy
Yeah, throwing a little romance into things, expecting to have my usual entertainment, but it actually surprised me. There was actually some good writing. There were some actual hard things the characters had to get through. The romantic leads were raw and gritty, even---at least, as raw and gritty as I've seen in a "historical" romance novel.

And you guys are not going to believe this, but the female lead? Not a virgin. Whoa.

I would have even given this a four (me! giving a romance novel a four!
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Jacqueline
Nov 30, 2014 Jacqueline rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: If you're literate, read it.


Whoa. Um, yeah, don't mind me, just sitting here flambéed by The Best Book, Ever.

...

This novel? Just read it.

Do it.

Do it, now.

So, that's my review. Okay, bye guys!

*Goes to sit in a corner and promptly cuddle Cecila Grant's book of awesomeness.*



Oh! You're still here! My, my, I see that means I'm to provide a bit more articulation for the gloriousness that is A Gentleman Undone. Damn. Logical thought is beyond me right now! But, give I must, and so, hold on to your feels, ladies and ladies, here's
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Tara Gelsomino
Not only is Cecilia Grant's second novel delightfully fresh and unpredictable with its plot developments, but I loved the sharp, sophisticated writing!!! It's been years since I read a romance this well written, and her style reminds me of Judith Ivory's excellent writing. Grant turned nearly all the usual romance genre conventions on their head, with cardcounting courtesan Lydia who is oh-so-clever and waiting for someone to see that, and Will who is her match and who makes it clear her smarts/ ...more
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4996526
I write Regency-set historical romance with a high angst-to-plot ratio. I specialize in hard-headed heroines and good-hearted heroes. So far.

A word about the "reviews" I post here: Please think of them as recommendations rather than reviews. If I like a book, I'll list it here and scrawl a few sentences about why I liked it. I've gone back and forth about whether to use stars (it feels like a sled
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More about Cecilia Grant...

Other Books in the Series

Blackshear Family (4 books)
  • A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong (Blackshear Family, #0.5)
  • A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1)
  • A Woman Entangled (Blackshear Family, #3)
A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1) A Woman Entangled (Blackshear Family, #3) A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong (Blackshear Family, #0.5)

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“I love you for your quickness and your brokenness and your sharp edges too.” 8 likes
“I've never asked you to give the least considerations to my feelings."

He could picture her holding the word with fingertips at arm's length, like a scullery maid disposing of a dead rat.”
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