Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Liz Carlyle: Never Lie to a Lady

Never Lie to a Lady: B
Xanthia Neville & Stefan, Marquess of Nash

Xanthia Neville knows exactly how to run a successful worldwide shipping business, but navigating the social waters of the ton is another matter entirely. At a London soiree, the mystery man with whom Xanthia shares a kiss turns out to be notorious rake and gamester Stefan Northampton, the Marquess of Nash. Xanthia knows that any romantic liaison with Stefan is social suicide, but she can't forget the dark and dangerous lord. Xanthia gets a second chance with Stefan when the British government asks her to use her business connections to look into Stefan's possible connections to gun-smuggling in Greece, and Xanthia soon finds herself ensnared in a dangerous game of seduction and intrigue with the sublimely sexy Stefan... (amazon)

One thing that I really appreciate about Ms. Carlyle’s writing is that she knows how to incorporate witty dialogue and smart characters in her stories. This is my second read of Ms. Carlyle and I’m thoroughly intrigued by her writing – I feel that she has a level of depth to her characters (and you know how much I love characterization) that is foreign to some writers.

At thirty years of age, Xanthia is a spinster – and a social outcast at that. She refuses to obey the laws and norms of the ton and manages her family’s shipping business. Intelligent and witty, she attracts the attention of Stefan at a ball. They share a passionate kiss. She tries to pretend it never happened.

Nash, on the other hand, is completely attracted to her and decides he wants her. How surprised he is when Xanthia practically thrusts herself in his path. He is unaware of the speculations and suspicions that the British government has towards him in regards to a smuggling ring that they are trying to crack.

Xanthia, concerned about her business, agrees to be a pawn in spying on Nash, and the unthinkable happens – love!

Though Xanthia and Nash aren’t my favorite characters (it’s pretty damn hard for any hero to beat Matt Farrell – Judith McNaught fans, you know what I’m talking about) and even though this isn’t the best novel I’ve ever read, I was able to feel for the characters and enjoy them as they enjoyed each other’s company, both emotionally and uh… physically (lol, *blush*). The sex was pretty hot and there is a “kinky” scene that is not so bad (compared to Ms. Ward’s Lover Unbound featuring Jane and Vishous).

In all, I’d say that it was a pretty satisfactory read. I want to read more of her stories because, well, I really enjoy her style of writing.

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