Bec's Reviews > Improper Gentlemen

Improper Gentlemen by Diane Whiteside
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Aug 09, 11

Read in August, 2011

This steamy anthology begins with Talbot’s Ace by Diane Whiteside. Justin Talbot is the owner of Hair Trigger Palace, the gambling hall in the small town of Wolf Laurel, Colorada. Charlotte “Ace” Morland is a Boston socialite running from a dangerous past. When the two literally run into each other during Wolf Laurel’s gambling tournament, the sparks…didn’t really fly for me. Whiteside’s writing style made the dialogue seem stilted and she struggled to connect trains of thought. While trying to give background information on the characters, we were given glimpses of an intriguing story that failed to come to fruition. Although the story came to the expected HEA, the process wasn’t as satisfactory as it could have been.

To Match a Thief by Maggie Robinson introduces the dashing and respected Sir Simon Keith, who was once Simon Grant, a pickpocket and con. Now that he can afford the best of everything—through mostly legal means—he finds that what he wants most can in fact be bought. Because what he wants is London’s most mysterious courtesan—and Simon’s onetime love—Lucy Dalhousie, now known as Lucy Dellamar. But once Simon has purchased her services from Lord Ferguson, her longtime benefactor who has fallen on hard times, can he earn his way into her heart? The sexual tension really heated up in this story. Robinson did a very good job of creating an atmosphere of desire, while also introducing us to interesting characters. How did they once know each other—and how did one rise so high and one fall so low? And although Lucy carries a secret that might actually benefit her to tell Simon, they somehow find HEA without her confiding in him, which left me feeling bereft with this bit of unresolved issues.

They definitely saved the best for last with A Knack for Trouble by Mia Marlow. Aidan Danaher, the baron of Stonemere, has the Knack, a psychic ability that allows him to bend others’ wills. It is a large part of how he got from convicted murderer to titled lord. But he finds himself reluctant to use his gift to gain him want he really wants: the love of Rosalinde Burke. She had fallen for his sweet whispers and soft touches once…but will she risk following her heart into Aidan’s arms? Or will she follow the path that she knows will lead her to a secure future if not a complete HEA? Marlow had witty dialogue and very steamy scenes. She gave a strong foundation for her characters and built them into solid, dynamic people in the reader’s mind. I just wished she had explained a bit more about Aidan’s Knack—like where it came from, when it first developed, etc. Otherwise a very fun and sensual story that wraps up this anthology quite satisfactorily.
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