Recently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?EXCERPTS (Please choose only ONE to use with your post):
Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Each rotation of the hired coach’s wheels whispered the word. Laurel cradled her sleeping two-year-old son, the new Lord Laningham, as a heady sense of satisfaction curved her lips. She didn’t even mind the slight musty odor pervading the vehicle, although she leaned over and raised the window cover for a breath of fresh air. With a sigh she settled back against the seat. At least for a while, Rhonda’s constant complaints would no longer ring in her ears and for that she was devoutly thankful.
Out of nowhere, a rider flashed by the coach window and her startled gaze locked with his brief glance. Although she’d caught only a glimpse of the stranger, in that instant his intense, deep-brown eyes mocked her and unease shivered down her spine. She stared after him for a second before instinctively gathering her child closer. Laurel planted a kiss on his blonde curls, drawing reassurance from the nearness of his warm little body. As long as she had Jamie nothing else mattered. Her son must remain safe.
Everything happened at once. The coach lunged to the right and scraped against the bushes beside the road, sending a shower of droplets splashing inside the window. Her book and Jamie’s wooden horse thumped to the floor. The racket of brakes screeching shrilled in her ears as the vehicle rattled and lurched out of control.
"Jamie," she cried.
Conduct Unbecoming a Gentleman by Wareeze Woodson is a Soul Mate Publishing release. This is a 2013 copyright. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Laurel's husband left her in a bind when he died. His sister, Rhonda, was remembered in his will, and their son was to be his cousin Lord Adron's ward. So, when Laurel attempts an escape with her son, she is chased down and her son was taken from her by Adron's men.
Once she locates Lord Andron's estate, he sees she is determined to stay with her son. So, he offers her a deal. She can become an unpaid member of the staff and be a nanny to her son and other children that are currently on estate. Having no choice by law, Laurel takes what she can get in order to be with her son.
Lord Adron believes the worst of Laurel. He was led to believe she brought his cousin to the ultimate despair that caused him to take drastic measures.
But, Laurel surprises Lord Adron by being a caring, hands on mother and having a wonderful way with children. No matter what he throws at her, she is able to withstand it. But, he can not withstand his attraction to her.
In the middle of this drama, there are some valuable jewels that Laurel's husband, Robert had hidden somewhere. Rhonda and her cohorts are desperate to find the jewels. In the process, Rhonda continues the plot against Laurel, insinuating that Laurel may be a jewel thief. She is even more determined to get rid of Laurel when she notices the attraction Lord Adron has for Laurel. Rhonda has set her heart on marrying Lord Adron herself.
With each passing day, Laurel and Lord Andron fall deeper in love with each other. But, Lord Andron has some issues with women he will have to overcome before he can win Laurel over. First ,the jewel thief must be caught and the jewels found.
This was a really entertaining historical romance set during the regency period.
Lord Andron is terrible in the beginning. He is terrified of being duped by a beautiful woman, which is what led, in part, to his bad attitude toward women.
Laurel was innocent is all things, but was admittedly naïve when she first married and her husband didn't do the right thing by her from the start. But, as worldly as the men in the story liked to think themselves, they too were rather naïve. They were deceived time and time again, but were too blind to see.
So, Lord Andron was easily led to believe whatever he was told about Laurel and usually it wasn't good.
You will get frustrated with Adron a great deal. I didn't have much empathy for his side of things except maybe his bad experiences in the past. There is a certain conniving woman that has everyone wrapped around her little finger and I found myself becoming quite annoyed when all the men continue to fall for her manipulations.
Laurel isn't as naïve as she once was though and shows a little backbone.
Will Lord Andron finally wake up and smell the coffee? Will the jewel thief be discovered?
There were lots of twist in the story. A shocking reveal will set you back on your heels and really get you thinking about the jewel thief mystery.
A quick entertaining read that is not like other regency period romance novels. But, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe a great deal of pain couldn't have been avoided by making some changes in those horrible British laws in regards to women's rights.
What do you think?
Over all this one is a B+
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