I was on a bit of a romance novel kick for a week or two last month, eagerly looking for a romance novel that impressed me. I found one in Unlacing the Innocent Miss, which just so happened to be the sixth novel in Harlequin’s Silk and Scandal mini-series. Impressed, and eager to learn more about the mystery that was unfolding in the prior books, I picked up book number seven with the hopes of being wowed again.
In The Officer and the Proper Lady, we meet Major Hal Carlow and Miss Julia Tresilian, two completely different people, from two very different social worlds. Hal is a ladies man, and prefers a life of easy pursuits and lots of flirting, while Julia is a straight-laced person who must marry in order to save her family’s finances. She moves to Brussels with her mother and younger brother in order to save money, and is turned off by the suitors who come to court her, as they all bore her to death. Alas, she then meets Major Carlow. Although the more logical side of her knows that he is an extremely unsuitable match, and that they are complete and utter opposites, her heart begins to tell her otherwise, and it has nothing to do with the aspect of marrying for money. What happens surprises both Hal and Julia, and is far from the predictable “opposites attract” romance that is commonly found. How will the Battle of Waterloo change both of their futures forever? What will the future hold for them?
Going into this novel, I was expecting a typical love story where two completely different people fall magically in love and live happily ever after. Fortunately, Allen was quick to dispel this preconceived notion with new plot twists and a great back story for both of the characters that rounded out the entire work really well. For her part in this series, Allen does a wonderful job in making the story effortlessly flow while including tons of details to keep me entertained. I’m always prone to liking stories where the male character goes through a major transformation to make himself worthy of the woman he loves. Hal is one of those types of characters, deciding that love is worth changing for and doing so full force in order to secure the woman that he now knows is the one for him.
This is one of the first series I’ve ever read with a continual storyline involving multiple authors. I was concerned at first that with multiple authors unveiling more of the story with each book that the storyline would become inconsistent and hard to follow. I have to say my fears were completely unfounded! The “mystery” that looms in the background of all the books in the series continued without a hitch, making me wishing that the eighth book was right next to me upon completion of The Officer and the Proper Lady!
4 out of 5 Stars
The Officer and the Proper Lady by Louise Allen
Paperback 278 pages