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Unlacing Lady Thea

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  88 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
A journey into pleasure…

The night before dissolute Lord Denham is about to embark on his grand tour, he meets an unexpected complication. In boy's clothes that barely conceal her delectable curves, his childhood friend Lady Althea Curtiss—desperate to escape an arranged marriage—arrives, demanding free passage!

Rhys accepts his unlikely traveling companion with great relu
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Harlequin (first published January 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 07, 2014 Rane rated it really liked it

'You think I am a trifle old for the grand tour? I disagree. At twenty-eight I will appreciate things more.' The cat sneered, lifted one hind leg and began to groom itself intimately.
'Stop that. A gentleman does not wash his balls in the study.'

Louise Allen quickly throws the reader into the heart of the action and humor with our hero Rhys, Lord Denham, drunk, and planning and talking to the kitchen cat about his Grand Tour while Napoleon is on Elba.Then a sudden visitor knocks his plans s
Mar 17, 2014 Caz rated it really liked it
Unlacing Lady Thea is a truly charming road-trip story featuring two well-drawn and engaging protagonists who had known each other as children, but drifted apart following the hero’s aborted wedding. Long-standing friends who fall for each other is a trope I particularly enjoy, which obviously predisposed me in the book’s favour; but when, in the opening pages, the drunken hero strikes up a conversation with the kitchen cat and utters the immortal line:

"A gentleman does not wash his balls in the
This was a charming romance set in France and Italy, with a strong heroine and some wonderful dialogue, provided by the publisher through netgalley.

So what did I like?

- The heroine is spunky, determined, curious, rather on the plain side and believably vulnerable. She's not an idiot, she understands what she's getting herself into, and still takes the plunge. Her joie de vivre is a blast of fresh air for everyone around her.

- The setting, in a kind of early 1800s road trip way, really brings the
Jan 16, 2014 Farrah rated it really liked it
A sweet and lovely romance, Unlacing Lady Thea was a fantastic historical romance read. I really enjoyed this book, from beginning to end. It was just wonderful and I absolutely loved it!

Thea was a lovely heroine. After years of being quiet and meek, a forced betrothal was the last straw and she decided to take her life into her own hands. She was the kind of heroine that was strong in a quiet way. Not through obvious defiance and sass, but with her resilience through any situation she was put i
Sparklingly wit!

So I was ready to give Lady Thea 5 stars before I'd even finished the first chapter. The rest of the novel did not disappoint!
I am captivated by Allen's dialogue. Her dry humour leavens the story. Smart and amusing lines such as when Rhys, in his cups, scolds the ginger tomcat for ungentlemanly behaviour is just one example. Rhys Denham, the third Earl of Palgrave is a rake, though capable of redemption. He has decided that it's time to do his duty and marry, but first he will do
Actual rating 3.5 stars.

Out of all the Louise Allen books I've read, I liked this one the best. Sure, it has its moments where I would have wanted to bang my head against the wall since the characters were kind of unbelievable, but at the same time I found myself really liking this novel. It had its funny moments and a bit more serious moments and by the end I reached the conclusion that Allen's writing keeps improving with time.

More of my thoughts can be found HERE
Jun 01, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing
Unlacing Lady Thea is a vivid, compelling and wonderfully passionate Regency romance from the inimitable pen of multi award-wining author Louise Allen!

Lady Althea Curtiss is under no illusions about her looks. She knows that she is plain and ordinary and not like the other simpering ladies of the Ton desperate to catch the eye of a suitable husband – and she has got absolutely no problem with that. Thea wants adventure, excitement and to be her own woman unhindered by the archaic conventions of
Sonya Heaney
Originally posted HERE .

I love Louise Allen’s writing. I love that her characters are both fun and also feel truly British. I love pretty much everything about how she constructs her stories.

Which is why I picked up a review copy of this one even though I tend to despise the set-up mentioned in the blurb: the heroine who sneaks away in men’s clothing.

Firstly, that particular piece of storyline is dispensed with very fast. Secondly, the way it was written in Unlacing Lady Thea was just fine.

Good friends to lovers story. Thea and Rhys have known each other for a long time, though they haven't seen each other in six years. Thea is twenty-two, sees herself as rather plain and not particularly appealing to men. She still has a fairly romantic view of life, and feels hurt and betrayed when the man who had been courting her is revealed to be a fortune hunter. Desperate to avoid a marriage arranged by her father, she flees to her old friend Rhys, hoping he'll escort her to her godmother i ...more
Nov 17, 2014 Melinda rated it liked it
My first M & B, and not my last. No doubt this could become a guilty pleasure. Allen provides a narrative possessing a fun fast pace. She manages to hold the readers attention providing entertaining characters struggling with just enough sexual tension leaving a soft sensuality lingering as you turn pages.

Rhys and Thea with their quips, failings and strengths capture your attention as you hope their attraction materializes as the build up increases.

Rhys was appealing, at times repulsive. He
May 07, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it
Review Posted on Harlequin

Unlacing Lady Thea by Louise Allen: A vacation like no other… with Napoleon in exile on Elba, Rhys Denham, Earl of Palgrave, has decided to go on the Grand Tour, and have a year-long holiday. After this last chance to sow his wild oats, he has decided that he will come back to England, find a wife and settle down. The night before he is depart, he is drinking deeply, apprehensive about his trip. Then, a visitor is announced, and it’s none other than his old
May 06, 2014 SidneyKay rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-regency
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks

Appearing on Lord Rhys Denham's doorstep ill-disguised as a boy, Lady Althea Curtiss has left home after discovering her intended only wanted her dowry. The self proclaimed plain miss asks her old and dearest friend Rhys to allow her to accompany him in his travels of the continent and safely deposit her into their mutual godmother's care in Italy.

Six years after having been left at the alter by his would be bride, Rhys still feels the affects of the betrayal, he isn't ready to move on a find a
Anne Harvey
Nov 01, 2014 Anne Harvey rated it really liked it
Another good 'un from the pen of Louise Allen. As the title suggests, it's a racy Regency novel. Lady Althea runs away from an arranged marriage and begs long-time friend, Rhys Denham, to take her with him on the first stage of his Grand Tour. In a drunken moment, he agrees to take her to her godmother in Venice but when Thea's independent spirit causes friction between them, he regrets doing so. His doubts increase when, to his surprise, he begins to desire her. At the risk of spoilers, I won't ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Allison rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, af
What a fun romance! I always love it when the female character maintains her strength throughout the romance novel, and doesn't suddenly crumble under the emotions she feels about the man--imagine that, a woman is able to be strong AND have a relationship with a strong man. This was a cute story, with witty conversations between Rhys and Thea, and I was pleasantly surprised at Rhys taking Thea's beliefs and discussions seriously rather than finding her fluffy and amusing. I would definitely reco ...more
Clare O'Beara
Now Boney has been locked away on Elba, Rhys Denham, an Earl, is looking forward to the Grand Tour of Europe as an escape from boredom. He doesn't expect a childhood friend, Lady Thea Curtiss, to arrive at his home dressed as a youth.

LADY THEA has three seasons behind her, she's of intellectual enthusiasms and average looks, and she has a dowry but refuses to marry eager young men who don't love her. I liked the girl immediately. She's determined not to obey her father and sit as a spinster in
Apr 17, 2014 Kara rated it it was amazing

Perhaps I didn’t need a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant this morning, but I wanted them, the same way that last night I didn’t need to read about heaving bosoms and hardened groins, but I wanted to, and thoroughly enjoyed both last night and this morning.

The oft told tale of the lady and the lord, perfect for each other but taking a long time to figure that out, was a delightful treat here, both in the characters, the setting, and some good old fashioned escapism.
Maggie Hesseling
Mar 01, 2014 Maggie Hesseling rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Besides for the fact that I would have liked to read more of Rhys' thoughts, I really liked this novel. A great travel story, with wonderful characters. I especially liked the scene where the two of them went to the fair, as this is the first real bit of jealousy we see.

I can't wait to read more by this author.
Alicia Serrano
Mar 07, 2015 Alicia Serrano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book.

It was so brilliantly written and I actually loved all the characters. I couldn't stop reading it to find out what would happen next between those two friends. It was a very enchanting love story.
Sep 05, 2014 Gail rated it really liked it
A friends-to-lovers story mash-up with a road-trip story, plus the oblivious guy who couldn't recognize a tender emotion if it bashed him in the head. A lovely story that wasn't too much of a travelog, but still made me want to visit Ravenna.
Cecilia Rodriguez
May 01, 2014 Cecilia Rodriguez rated it liked it
Allen's plot reminded me of the classic Clark Gable movie: "It Happened One Night."
The action takes place while on a journey to Venice and Allen maintains focus on her two lovers, which is a very nice change of pace.
Jul 12, 2015 Jo rated it really liked it
Damn Louise Allen and her ability to keep me reading into the early hours! A thoroughly enjoyable book you'll want to keep reading.
Sharon Kennedy
Mar 30, 2014 Sharon Kennedy rated it really liked it
Loved this - Louise Allen is back on form!
Sep 14, 2014 Shelbycat rated it really liked it
Shelves: rna-books
an enjoyable romance.
Mary Hart
Sep 24, 2015 Mary Hart rated it really liked it
Good story.
Alethea A
Feb 11, 2014 Alethea A rated it it was amazing
Extra star for naming the heroine Althea ;)

Full review tk
Harlequin Books
"Allen's devoted following will relish this take on 'the debutante must marry,' as she pairs an unorthodox Lady Thea with the dynamic Lord Rhys. Sparks and wit fly throughout this toe-curling adventure, ..." (RT Book Reviews) rated 4 stars
Harlequin Historical
"Allen's devoted following will relish this take on 'the debutante must marry,' as she pairs an unorthodox Lady Thea with the dynamic Lord Rhys. Sparks and wit fly throughout this toe-curling adventure, ..." RT Book Reviews, rated 4 stars
Melanie marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2016
Lucia added it
Feb 07, 2016
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 06, 2015 10:51AM  
  • Secrets of a Gentleman Escort
  • A Debt Paid in Marriage (Business of Marriage #1)
  • An Escapade and An Engagement
  • Haunted by the Earl's Touch
  • Running from Scandal
  • The Beauty Within (Armstrong Sisters #3)
  • Unmasking the Duke's Mistress (Gentlemen of Disrepute #1)
  • Lady Drusilla's Road to Ruin
  • Highland Rogue, London Miss
  • The Dissolute Duke (Wellinghams, #4)
  • Hattie Wilkinson Meets Her Match
  • Bought: The Penniless Lady  (Gentlemen of Fortune, #2)
  • The Scarlet Gown
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

This author also writes under the name Francesca Shaw.

I have had my nose buried in a history book - fact or fiction - for as long as I can remember, but even more important to me are the places and the objects that conjure up the past. My first attempt at historical fiction
More about Louise Allen...

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