Anna (Bobs Her Hair)'s Reviews > Improper Relations

Improper Relations by Juliana Ross
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's review
Apr 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-romance, netgalley, for-review
Recommended for: Erotic Historical Romance fans
Read on May 16, 2012 , read count: 1

Grade: B or 4 stars…An erotic historical romance by promising debut author!

Dorset, 1858

Widowed Hannah Bell lives in the shadows with her late husband’s relatives. She is the poor relation dependent on the charity of Lady Dorchester, and Hannah is her unpaid lady’s companion. Her daily life is monotonous and drab. The only thing that has ever shined is the presence of her husband’s wastrel cousin.

Hannah has admired Cousin Leo from afar. He is funny, intelligent, and always has a kind word. Yet, he doesn’t see her. One day Hannah spies a tryst between Leo and a maid. What she witnesses challenges the repressive Victorian notions taught by her mother and reinforced by her late husband. Imagine seeing a woman who enjoys sex! When Leo offers to educate her with erotic lessons she makes a decision that will change her life.

My Thoughts
I was hoping for a steamy tale with a good story. What I got was a compelling heroine, along with sexy love scenes. This could have easily been a basic erotic tale of a woman learning the pleasures of sex; instead, Hannah is a heroine empowered by her sexuality. Before her lessons, she’s been partially in love with Leo. She feels no shame in what they do. She is a woman who weighs the risks and chooses not to be invisible anymore.

Since the story is written from Hannah’s point-of view, Leo’s character is a bit mysterious. His motivation is left to interpretation, which I had no troubles filling in. Hannah and Leo’s affair spans enough time where I assumed they had meaningful conversations, although one or two scenes would have been nice. Improper Relations conveys the heroine’s excitement, joy, and realistic attitude toward her situation. Hannah is likeable and I cheered for her happy ending.

Juliana Ross has studied British social history and she adequately demonstrates the repressive attitudes during the Victorian era in this short story. I encourage other readers to try her. Improper Relations is fifty-eight pages in length, offering a nice sample of her work. I anticipate more steamy romances by this author.

Memorable Moment
”But why? Why me? You’ve never so much as said hello, not once in all the years I’ve lived here.”

“For that I beg your pardon. If I wounded your feelings, I’m sorry. But my parents would have noticed, had I paid you the slightest heed. Had I so much as looked in your direction.”

“I know myself, Cousin Leo. I’m not so easy to tempt. I would not have been easy to seduce.”

“Then what is this?” he demanded. “Why do you linger, if my proposal doesn’t tempt you.”

Did I speak the truth? I wasn’t sure, at that moment, if I knew. I only knew that he was looking at me, properly seeing me, as no one had done in all the years I’d been part of the Dorchester household.

This ebook was generously provided by Carina Press via Netgalley. It released April 2012.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Jill (new)

Jill Nice review, Anna! I really enjoyed this one as well. And look forward to more from this author.

Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Thanks, Jill! It was a pleasant surprise. :o)

message 3: by Baba (new)

Baba  Great review, Anna!

Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Thanks, Baba! I think you would like it. ;o)

message 5: by Baba (new)

Baba  Anna wrote: "Thanks, Baba! I think you would like it. ;o)"

Will think about it, Anna.

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