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The Edge of Impropriety

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  283 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Marina Wyatt, popular novelist and beautiful Countess of Gorham, is irresistible fodder for gossip columns, in which her ribald private life is the stuff of public scandal. Of course, Marina's too sharp and resourceful not to realize that the publicity helps sell her romances. In fact, the release of her latest novel happens to coincide with the rebuff of her current ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Signet Eclipse (first published October 16th 2008)
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Average rating 3.23  · 
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Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hawt-sex
This was quite unlike anything I've ever read before, except perhaps, my last Pam Rosenthal, Almost a Gentleman' [which, memorably, contained a fisting scene [!!] that was somehow sexy and romantic and is also great and you should read it]. It is baffling to me that The Edge of Impropriety has such a low average rating on this site. It doesn't quite make five stars but it's a solid 4.5.

Rosenthal writes mature, adult, modern books, yet she does so in a style which somehow feels like classic
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At this rate, Ive underestimated how many romances out there were written for me. I thought Provocation was good; this one is better. It hits my buttons: the Greek mythology, the cheeky candor, the two mature people who know who they are and what they want and yet still learn and grow. Its earthy and funny and Ive been waiting to call a book earthy since I started this project. (Theres one scene in the middle that, holy smokes, might be the hottest Ive read.)

The supporting cast of Helen,
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This year's RITA winner in the Historical Category. I can see why. Very different sort of romance--the kind you'd like to write, but couldn't get an editor to accept. Yet, Rosenthal did find a publisher of this tender story between a middle-aged novelist at the very end of the regency period and a bachelor antiquarian who has been raising his brother's two children.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Was in the mood for a comfort read, and picked up an older, RITA award-winning Pam Rosenthal off my shelf. The trade paperback size indicates that this falls on the intellectual end of the historical romance spectrum, not a place where too many authors are writing these days, alas. Love the intertwined romances of the mature couple (a thirty-something countess with a scandalous/sad past and a forty-something antiquary scholar with his own past disappointments) and the younger one (the ...more
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, historical
FINALLY finished with this one.

I think I would have enjoyed this more if the author had spent more time on the sex and less time congratulating herself on her own cleverness. The writing is both self-conscious and smug; toward the end a minor character thinks (thinks!) the word "synecdoche", which is immediately followed by a brief definition, AND a disapproving reminder that an educated person would already know it. Urgh! There are frequent mentions of historical details so insignificant to the
Leila Hays
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: take-it
A bright brief affair between two seemingly incompatible people. A romance in the old-fashioned sense of the genre.

I found The Edge of Impropriety on a display of books that had never been checked out at my favorite library. I can't say why it languished on the shelf for five years, but I can say that it's a damn shame.

Perhaps the style of the prose is a bit much for your average reader. While the jacket blurb is written in the usual simple, catchy way of such things, the novel itself is written
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
Don't see what the fuss is about with this book. It's occasionally witty and the protagonists are unconventional to be sure, but there's little else to recommend this, other than a well executed painting on the front cover. I could just barely complete it. It's not that steamy either, compared to other historical romances that are out there today.
Dec 30, 2008 marked it as begun-but-not-finished
I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't love the main character enough to finish it. The writing was great, and the approach to a romance novel refreshing. But after a bit I got irritated.

Maybe it was just my post-holiday blahs.
Oct 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: romance, adult, victorian
I'm too much of a prude for this one. I did finish it but too kinky for me. Took me out of the story.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Very nicely written. But the story was not really interesting. in fact the side story is much more interesting
Jane Stewart
1 ½ stars. The story dragged. Not enough dialogue. The reason? Throughout the book, most scenes were told and not shown.

The writing style is telling not showing. Because of this, it was unpleasant. I was not drawn into the story. I felt like something was missing. The plot and events in outline form were interesting. The characters were interesting. But I didnt get to experience anything because of the writing style. It was not emotionally engaging.

There wasnt enough dialogue.
Liz B
May 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not quite a five-star romance, because the chemistry between the couple was good but not great. I loved the characters (and characterization)--and while normally I don't care that much about setting, I found that this book made Regency England feel very real.

The heroine is a novelist; the hero a specialist in Greek antiquities who is raising his dead brother's children. They both live on the edge of society for different reasons. Both are frank and open about their desire for an affair, which
Manda Collins
Apr 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm trying to catch up on the 2009 RITA nominees. This was one of two in the historical category that I hadn't read yet. And WOW! I've enjoyed Pam Rosenthal books before, in particular Almost a Gentleman. But The Edge of Impropriety is her best yet, I think.

The hero and heroine are first and foremost grown-ups. I can't think of a historical I've read with a 37 year old heroine. And Marina has certainly done some living in those 37 years. And Jasper even has graying hair! Horrors! I thought his
H Beeyit
Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Even though I grew up on Heyers and old Harlequins, I've largely lost interest in romance novels (of the het variety, that is) the past few years. Even the well-written ones have left me feeling pretty bored. Which is a little depressing when you practically cut your eyeteeth on the things. I missed enjoying romance novels. I wanted to like them; I just...didn't.

Still, I kept trying, and it did indeed pay off with The Edge of Impropriety. What a delightful, joyous read! Where other novels have
Aug 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very light summer read - story of Lady in London 1830's with a secret past but a current social diva that writes the latest and greatest novels inspired by the ton she is a part of. Shed ends up falling in love with the hottest young buck in towns uncle (who is really his father, the boy just doesn't know it.) The uncle is a 2nd son, now in charge of raising the young man and his young sister. He is a scholar of Greek sculpture and outdated, but somehow worldly when it comes to sex...Indiana ...more
Victoria Pond
I almost finished this novel, but then got distracted by other editing work and reading CryoBurn (which isn't erotic at all, but contains such emotion).

I think I had the most trouble with The Edge of Impropriety because I cared so little about the characters. Our heroes were okay and all, but the secondary romance's female half only had two modes: stodgy and whiny (even when she finally got what she wanted). I'd have loved more about the cast of minor characters...even the guy who
Aug 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
I really like Pam Rosenthal--she puts some great twists on the erotic romance genre that's very cool to read. It's steamy, but she doesn't ignore the character development. I was particularly engaged by Jasper, the middle-aged stuffy academic who's passionate and besotted with Marina (a romance writer of London's high society, which was kind of a fun character beat) and while I knew their affair wasn't going to be temporary (come on, this is a romance novel after all!), I completely bought that ...more
Damyanti Biswas
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved that it is so well written (I find so many romances aren't), and then it has these characters from different walks of life, not the main characters but the supporting cast, with their own walks of life, which allows Rosenthal to reinforce her Regency setting with bits and pieces of reality. I love their voices, the perspectives they bring to the historical setting and how well they fit in with the main structure of the novel, without compromising on its genre, which remains, firmly, ...more
Lori McD
This book surprised me... it's so much better than it seems, even from the back cover description. It took me a bit to get into it, and then I was totally hooked!

Marina and Jasper are... magnificent! I really think of them now as one of my all-time favorite couples. Their rendezvous are priceless and unpredictable. I'm amazed at how the author can mix passion, sensuality, and then raw, vulgar sex together and still come out with a story that's less about the vulgar and more about the passion,
Wicked Incognito Now
Well, I don't suppose I'm going to finish this. I stopped reading it a few weeks ago, and I feel no compulsion to finish it.

The writing is beautifully done, but I think the story suffers for it. The story is lost in all the beautiful descriptions of feelings and images. I was reading along, entranced by the beautiful language, and eventually realized I didn't quite care for the characters and had no interest in where they were going. It might be because they began a relationship (sexually) very
Jul 20, 2009 rated it liked it
This somehow got recommended to me as a great erotic romance novel. It was about as far from an erotic romance as one of those new "bonnet buster" Amish romances are from Anais Nin. I didn't know that one anal sex scene and a few uses of the f-word and the c-word make something "erotic". Lame salad. The romance was great: hero and heroine are both much older and their "coming together" (har har) was as interesting as it was real.

A great light romance, but definitely NOT erotica. Don't be fooled
This was the right book at the right time. I spent two days sicker than I want to think about. So sick, I could not read. Then finally, my brain was starting to clear. I still did not want to actually think. So romance to the rescue.

Rosenthal had everything I want in a romance. Fun storyline, beautiful characters, sex (in my opinion this was erotic) and even humor. I spent a day immersed in a world where everything will work out - the bad guys lose and the good folks fall in love.

Thank you Pam
Mar 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
I wanted to like this a lot more than I ended up doing. I didn't dislike it--I just finished it and thought that's all? I very much liked the protagonists--both of whom were older and with the accomplishments and regrets of lives lived; I liked the supporting characters, but in the end, it just didn't quite add up. It felt sketched-in in many places and I honestly could have sacrificed the sex scenes for more about the characters.
Mar 16, 2009 rated it liked it
At times I felt like is was written only to give the author the freedom to write about sex. At times I felt it was slightly wordy.

Essentially, the book is about a man named jasper who gets custody of his niece and nephew after their parents were in a boating accident. Later this man falls in love with a Lady Gorham who is an author. The unlikely pair seem to dance in circles throughout this book only to come to a predictable ending.
It was mildly amusing, and served its purpose as being brain-candy. I'm not really a huge fan of regency-era novels one way or the other, but the characters were a bit unconventional in being somewhat older, more eccentric, and more independent. The end outcome was actually quite modern in some ways. Honestly, that's really all I have to say about it - it's just not my cup of tea, but I didn't dislike it.
Jul 25, 2010 rated it liked it
This is my 4th Rosenthal book. I like her style of writing and I felt that she did a decent job, but it's not one my favs from her. I say that because I had a hard time "fleshing out" -for lack of better word - her main male character Jasper. Granted she penned him as semi-recluse in the sense of his chosen profession existing in a world of gossip and galas; he just did not come alive for me in this book.
Jan 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a really beautifully written love story. I loved the main characters, Jasper and Marina, who are both slightly older than average for an historical romance (very refreshing). The secondary love story was also touching. At times, there was a bit too much introspection and I think it slowed down the pacing (the only reason I don't give it 5 stars). Still, I read it in one sitting!
Nov 23, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was entertaining and amusing. It's very well-written and the vocabulary occasionally made me run to the dictionary. Amazing, to me, for a book that was found in the bargain bin. I would recommend it to those who like historical fiction with a tiny bit of eroticism. It's not smut, but it's not high romance either. Overall, I liked it and I'm glad I found it.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
I don't care if the description of this one makes it sound like a hard-core romance novel -- it's not, and I'm reviewing it anyway. This book feels like it's written by Jane Austen's one-generation-older and very-much-more-wordly-relative. It's very wittily, snarkily, and cleverly done -- a surprise not only in this genre but also in general these days. I highly enjoyed this book.
I can't give a review because I didn't get but about a chapter into it and I just wasn't feeling the story. But in all honesty it could turn out well. I had visions of love triangles, which I never enjoy, and kids in the middle of hidden identities who end up in these triangles possible against their father, only they don't know it's father and it was just all too much.
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Pam Rosenthal also writes erotic fiction under the pseudonym Molly Weatherfield.

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