Sunday, February 12, 2012
Review: Compromising Prudence by Marguerite Butler (5+ stars, novella)
Full Description: Amazon
Rating: 5+ out of 5
Thoughts After Reading:
I made the statement before that I would only bother writing about the best novellas on The HR Critic. Well, Compromsing Prudence is simply an outstanding novella. It is a clean regency historical about an engagement-of-convenience that leads to love. The story is very well written, very entertaining, and very funny.
The heroine in Compromising Prudence is practically perfect: she's lively, sensible, clever, beautiful, often speaks her mind, and is a great mixture of innocence and eagerness (it's so funny on the occasions when the hero tries to be "noble", but ends up disappointing the heroine). Before the story begins, she develops an infatuation for a rake and believes he returns her feelings. When she's compromised, having been kissed by him and been caught without a proposal, her father locks her in her room and threatens to turn her out if she creates any more scandal. She believes that there must have been a misunderstanding and the rake truly wants to marry her, so she sneaks out to talk with him. He soundly rejects her, and they are seen together - which only adds to the scandal of her ruined reputation. The book begins after the heroine has had a few too many drinks, as a result of which she journeys to a brothel to talk with a notorious courtesan about taking up the profession. While there, she meets the hero (he's not with anyone) and he takes her under his wing, bringing her back to his home and setting up a chaperone (of sorts) for her. The hero is the male equivalent of a bluestocking, spending little time in society and preferring the study of birds. He quickly proposes a marriage-of-convenience for the heroine, but it's not long before he's wishing for more. It's a fun and entertaining story as our protagonists get to know each other better, and as the heroine's presence interrupts (but not unpleasantly) the hero's bachelor existence. The humor, in particular, is excellent, with some great one-liners. The hero seems like a good guy, fairly understanding and game for whatever in the beginning. He's a confident and sensual man, but he's not a rake. And as he gets the hang of becoming a husband, he is shown to be a very supportive and caring guy. The final conflict/misunderstanding is a little silly, but I suppose it was too much to ask for the book to be completely flawless. There's never too much drama in the book, though, and this final conflict is quickly and easily resolved.
Overall, I definitely plan on reading more books by Butler. If Compromsing Prudence is anything to judge her work by, then I'm expecting more entertaining historicals with excellent characters and general hilarity.