Review: Nowhere Near Respectable by Mary Jo Putney

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Lady Kiri Lawford –the half-English and half-Indian daughter of an English Duke and an Indian Princess – was spending time with her prospective fiancée and his family in the English country side when she overhears her prospective mother-in-law say something so ghastly about her and her mother that she gathers her belongings and left. Alone. Not the best idea.

She’s captured by smugglers but rescued by a gentleman by the name of Damian “Mac” Mackenzie. As Lady Kiri and Mac travel, she finds out that he is bastard born and owns a gambling casino. Not what would be considered the appropriate company for the daughter of a Duke. Although Kiri knows that she should not be interested in Mac, she can’t help her attraction and actively searches him out. In her attempt to spend time with Mac, Kiri learns about a plot against the crown – and only she and Mac can stop it.

It’s been a while since I read this book and I still have mixed feelings about it. I really enjoy historicals but this one felt a little off for me.

The book itself is rather interesting. The writing is good and the pace is pretty swift. I was certainly entertained and I enjoyed the read. It was upon finishing the book that I recognized some of the issues that had unsettled me while reading.

The first issue was Lady Kiri: Lady Kiri is such a Mary Sue. Ugh. She’s beautiful and perfect (of course), extremely intelligent, has that “sparkle” that makes all eyes turn to her when she enters a room. She knows hand to hand combat (??), mixes her own perfumes and has such a great ability to sort out fragrances by smell that the entire plot revolves around her abilities. There are very few items that help keep Lady Kiri from being obnoxiously perfect: she’s more sexually aggressive then the hero and she is half-Indian and takes great pride in it. I loved the fact that the heroine was bi-racial and very proud of her heritage but goodness Kiri got on my nerves!

I also had a problem with Lady Kiri’s sexual aggression. Not the fact that she was sexually aggressive but the fact that she actively tried to take advantage of the hero on more than one occasion. Mac knew that he was not the proper person for Lady Kiri and he wanted to be honorable about that fact – he did NOT make passes at her because he respected her and her position. In fact, Mac has to berate her about her aggressiveness. Lady Kiri, on the other hand, went so far as to mislead Mac regarding her sexual experience. If a man had been that aggressive, he would have been considered a total jackass. But since it was perfect Lady Kiri, all was ok.

The final thing that bothered me was the fact that the majority of the plot revolved around Lady Kiri’s nose. More specifically it revolved around her “perfumer’s nose” that allowed her to pick out specific fragrances. It was such a thin plot that it ticked me off. Just to add insult to injury, Lady Kiri is allowed to leave her parents and ALL chaperones and go live in a house with more than one single man.

Those are the thing that bothered me about the book but all in all was an entertaining read.

Note: I received an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of this book free through the Goodreads First Reads program.

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