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My Lady Notorious by Jo Beverley

My Lady Notorious (edition 2002)

by Jo Beverley

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466633,005 (3.87)19
Title:My Lady Notorious
Authors:Jo Beverley
Info:Signet (2002), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
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My Lady Notorious by Jo Beverley



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This book was difficult to get through. The characters do many things throughout the novel that are not quite believable. For example, Cyn’s coach gets taken by highway robbers. Not only doesn’t he try to defend himself, but he later willingly leaves his loaded gun behind because being kidnapped sounds like fun. I could not appreciate how easily bored he was and how easy he went along with the plan of the women trying to run for safety.
I also did not think the chemistry between the characters was well done. The main heroine, Chastity, in the novel goes through the first part of the novel dressing like and sounding like a man. Even when Cyn kisses her a few times she doesn’t think that he’s figured out that she is really a woman. Shortly into the novel Cyn decides the best disguise is if he dresses as a woman (since the people out to get them are looking for a young mother with a baby and Cyn is noticeably older). Cyn’s teasing of Chastity is funny at times, but that is the best thing I can say for this novel.
I also did not enjoy the narration. The reading of the non-dialogue sections of the story were fine, but the dialogue sections were difficult to get through. This dialogue may have been more challenging than most novels as the reader was portraying a man disguised as a woman and a woman disguised as a man, but even so the dialogue between characters was grating. Also, the reader had a very grandmother type voice, which could be great from some books, but was not a good match for this novel. It was weird listening to her read some of the more steamy scenes and her voice overall just did not match with my impression of the characters.
( )
  Azacia | Apr 27, 2014 |
My goodness this book had me up and down and all over the place! First of the neverending Malloren Series, I really enjoyed the chemistry between Chastity and Cyn and they had some very sexy moments - boy! Food sure is their thing! I also really liked Cyn's brother Rothgar - I can't wait to read his story! (sort of like a Wulf, Duke of Bewcastle). Still, I was very uncomfortable with their first sex scene since it was not honest because she is in disguise, even though he knows she's disguised. It just didn't sit well with me. Also her father was awful and a bit over the top about what he did to her. Really made me squirm. The orgy they attended was a bit too much too, but overall a good story and vintage romance. ( )
  ktleyed | Jul 23, 2013 |
Banished from her father's house for her refusal to marry the vile Henry Vernham, the Notorious Chasity Ware goes in disguise as "Charles" and kidnaps Lord Cyn Malloreen in an attempt to aid her sister, Verity escape the evil clutches of Henry Vernham and their father as well.
Book started out slow for me but before the halfway point, I was engaged. A recommended adventure and of course romance. ( )
  lindasbooks | Aug 19, 2009 |
I had such a great time reading this book! It was immensely entertaining which rather surprised me as I wasn’t especially excited about reading it. I mean, another cross-dressing story? How wrong was I! This was the most fun I had in ages.

We start out with Cyn, a younger brother to the powerful Malloren family who at the tender age of 24 is still trying to prove himself to his older, very charismatic brothers. He has taken up life in the army as a way to live outside their shadow and to fulfil his need for excitement.
Now, after recovering from a fever he is utterly bored and ready for some action which shows up in the form of a mysterious lady who, dressed up as a highwayman, kidnaps the coach he is in. He is not fooled for one moment about her sex but decides to carry on with the charade – he is at the same time amused and curious as to why a clearly well-bred lady has taken such measures.

It just so happens that Chastity, or rather Charles, as he has to call her for most of the book, is desperate to help her widowed sister who is fleeing her horrendous bother-in-law who has taken guardianship of her new-born son. She needs to get Verity to her childhood sweetheart for protection. They also need to escape the clutches of their villainous father who is mysteriously bent on crushing them both.

Cyn decides to help them and figure out that the best way of doing so is by dressing up as a lady with Verity as the nurse for the kid and Charles as the footman. And he does so, by wearing a dress, make up, a wig and red high heeled shoes, the whole shebang! This is such a different turn from the brooding, larger than life type - Cyn is not the bulky kind of hero, he is slim and he has what is described as feminine features including long eye lashes. He is of course, very attractive to Chastity and she has to fight her urges because she still thinks he believes she is a man. And then we get a fast-paced farce that made me roar with laughter at some points.

The story carries on and Cyn is still trying to figure out who the ladies are and then finds out that Chastity is the Notorious Chastity Ware, a woman who has been ruined in the eyes of society when her MOST villainous father arranged for her to be caught in bed with said horrendous brother in law so that she could marry him. Being innocent she refused to do so was beat up and had her hair cut as a punishment (which clearly helps her with her disguise). But never fear because at this point he is clearly falling for her and the early signs of protectiveness are already showing up.

This book is very audacious not only be presenting us with a hero who has no problem with dressing up as a woman but also by placing the characters in rather unusual situations – at one point they end up attending a proper orgy when they run into one of Cyn’s friends. Georgian times were wild baby! And even though they did not participate on the public side of things we still get some glimpses of some crazy caligulesque scenes before they settle on an orgy of their own, in private - that involved grapes, tarts, cream and other food stuff. Their love making is as humorous as their banter. And hot. I did mention the cream right?

And then the author punches us another time in the stomach adding the suspense of not knowing what is going to happen next – they eventually get separated and her father catches up. I was on the edge of my seat and I never felt that she was truly safe. All seemed to be possible and sometimes Cyn is not there to save her.

Cyn was a truly marvelous protagonist, he had such a lightness to his actions and words, always prepared for eventualities and with a marvelous certainty that the Mallorens can do anything! And I felt so much sympathy for Chastity –in a time where women were bound to obey their fathers and eventually their husbands and any signs of rebellion were duly punished. Yet she dared, as much as she could, to hold to at least the power of saying no, no matter the dreadful consequences which she could not escape. Until the wonderful Mallorens came to the scene and all gathered around her like knights in shinning armors once their younger brother declared his intentions.

Oh, there is so much more to be said that about this novel – there are so many tender moments, sensual encounters, funny scenes, adventures and escapades , sword fights and some jaw dropping encounters with Rothgar Malloren, the overpowering oldest brother. He has a story of his own and I for once, can not wait to read it.

This is a perfect example of a fantastic romance novel. It even has a beautiful cover and a sensible title! More of that, please.

Notable quotes/Parts: All the sexual moments in the book involved some kind of food and it was a perfect combination of erotic and funny. Who would have thought that reading about two people eating warm biscuits would send shivers down my spine:

Cyn and Chastity (dressed as Charles, still clueless that Cyn knows she is a woman) bought two Shewsbuty Biscuits and he popped on into her mouth and took a bite of his,

"still walking slowly backward. She took a bite of her own. He trapped her gaze and she found herself watching his lips as he bit again and chewed. He had beautiful lips, with a perfect bow-curve...... The muscles of his throat moved as he swallowed. His tongue slid out. He slowly licked a trace of golden crumbs away from those lips, leaving the gloss of moisture behind. His eyelids lowered sleepily, sensuously and he smiled. (....)

'Taste, texture, heat', he said softly, seeming to dare her to take another bite. 'Life offers such beautifully simple yet rich pleasures for our delight. Taste them with me, Charles'. "

And that pretty much sets the tone to their most heated moments.

Additional thoughts: This is the second book I read which is set in Georgian times, and both had orgies. I read a few things online and it seems that the high classes had a certain joie de vivre that was utterly amoral and decadent. At the same time, it was also the era of the Industrial and Social Revolutions which means that not all members of the richer classes were simply idly sitting in their country houses indulging in their senses. As with any historical moment, there are the nuances, the ups and downs that makes the study of history so interesting.

Verdict: a thoroughly enjoyable book with rich history background, amazing characters and funny and endearing moments.

Rating: 8. Cyn is an absolutely delightful hero. And I can’t wait to read about the other Mallorens.

Full Review at:
http://thebooksmugglers.blogspot.com/2008/02/book-review-my-lady-notorious.html ( )
  TheBookSmugglers | Feb 25, 2008 |
The Notorious Chastity Ware - so dubbed after a horrid scandal ruined her name - is desperate to help her newly widowed sister and baby escape their pursuers, so she dons a boy's clothing and turns highwayman. When she captures the first coach that comes along, she ends up kidnapping an extraordinarily pretty man.

Cyn Malloren has just recovered from an illness and is chafing under the solicitousness of his family. Determined to rejoin his regiment - or at least find some sort of adventure - he jumps at the chance to help out the damsel in distress, especially when he realizes that the pretty boy holding up the carriage isn't a boy at all.

A great many parts of this novel were beautifully done. I love how early Cyn realizes that the 'young man' is a young woman, and especially how he plays it up, teasing her without revealing that he knows that she's a woman. He's charming and utterly hilarious when he dresses as a woman to help them escape detection, and I love the duel with Chastity's brother Fort.

The Malloren family is wonderfully intriguing. Nothing is impossible seems to be their motto, and truly with their scheming, efficient planning, and occasional ruthlessness, nothing can be barred from them if they want it badly enough. I'm particularly interested in seeing Rothgar's story, and the man who eventually steals Elf's heart.

That said, I found the scenes at Heatherington's party disturbing. The bits with Fort and Rothgar creeped me out, and suddenly Cyn snaps into a cold mistrustful man who half-seeks to punish her when accepting her advances because he thinks she is wanton? I absolutely hate that kind of attitude. He certainly wasn't chaste, so why is she suddenly treated like a villain because he thinks she might be? Luckily that doesn't last very long - soon he is back to his usual caring self and determined to slay any dragons that stand in her way. But that lapse really bothered me.

Darker than most romances, Beverley explores the cruelty of the girls' father as he uses them as pawns, mere objects, in a very dangerous game of blackmail and deceit. While I like that Beverley does not sugarcoat or spare the reader, the overt sexualization of the daughters was hard for me to swallow without a bit more motivation than - oh, he's mad.

I'm not sure about this one as seems to be a theme with Beverley. She's not comfortable - and while that is admirable, I'm not yet sure whether I like her books or not. ( )
  Caramellunacy | Apr 7, 2007 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jo Beverleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Larkin, AlisonReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cercadillo Villazán, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tantor MediaPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The great crested coach lurched alongh the Shaftesbury road, over ruts turned rock-like by a sharp November frost.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451206444, Mass Market Paperback)

Hailed as "captivating" (Booklist) and "exquisitely sensual" (Library Journal), Jo Beverley's Malloren novels capture the unforgettable world of Georgian England. Now her fans can discover why the book that started it all, My Lady Notorious, has been called "storytelling at its best" (Rendezvous).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:58 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Lady Chastity Ware dresses as a highwayman to help her widowed sister and her infant niece escape a treacherous pursuer, and she accosts the first stagecoach she sees--capturing, among others, a handsome aristocrat eager for adventure.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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Tantor Media

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