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A Lady Never Tells

by Candace Camp

Series: Willowmere (book 1)

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1756124,512 (3.53)8
"When Mary Bascombe's stepfather tries to sell her and her sisters to the highest bidder after their mother's death, she resolves to take drastic action. Although their British mother was estranged from her family, Mary decides the four will flee to London and take their place in society as granddaughters of the Earl of Stewkesbury. Dashing Sir Royce Winslow doubts the honesty of the young women's claim--despite their charms, they seem to be hiding something. His attraction to feisty Mary, however, is no ruse, so when the sisters are shipped off to Willowmere, the earl's country estate, to acquire some polish, Royce is quick to join them. When an unknown villain attempts a kidnapping, Royce and Mary are thrown together as they confront the danger . . . and Royce learns that while high society may sing the praises of proper behavior, it is a most improper American who is winning his heart."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)
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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This author was a new one for me, and I hadn't read anything about her work before I checked two of her books out the library. I really enjoyed this novel, especially because the heroine and her sisters weren't swanning English misses -- they rough and tumble American women who just happened to be the granddaughters of an earl. And the way the romance blossomed was well handled as well. I thought the "mystery" left something to be desired as it was fairly clear who was the culprit, but a couple neat twists at the end made of for that lack. I have already placed a hold on the next in this series, and I am starting another series from this same author. ( )
  ladypembroke | May 17, 2019 |
Great start and nice ending. Seriously lagged in the middle, with the hero being too stupid to know he was in love, and a supposedly determined heroine melting in his arms. The smex scenes used as filler, started to get annoying. 3/5 stars ( )
  mary23nm | Feb 27, 2019 |
From my blog: http://currentscene.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/my-cure-for-writers-block/

I’ve only ever read one other book by Ms. Camp, and that was A Very Special Favor, which was published under a pseudonym, Kristin James. It’s a sweet little book about a lonely legal secretary who falls in love with her boss. I adore this book and have read it to death, so I picked up A Lady Never Tells when I was at Books-a-Million because I remembered that Candace Camp was Kristin James’s real name and the story sounded like fun. I figured anyone who’d written A Very Special Favor couldn’t possibly write something I wouldn’t like.

Boy, was I wrong.

All About Romance gives the book a “C.” They are usually tougher graders than I am, but this time I agree completely. The first thing I noticed is that Camp’s grasp of honorifics is very, very tenuous and it got annoying rather quickly. To wit: the late Earl of Stewkesbury is occasionally referred to as Lord Reginald. WRONG. The current earl is referred to as Lord Oliver. WRONG. The daughter of a country vicar who married a duke’s brother is referred to as Lady Sabrina. WRONG. The only one she got right is Lady Vivian, who is the daughter of a duke. I had to flip back and forth constantly to figure out who she was talking about.

The plot itself had potential, but it wasn’t well executed. The main character, Mary, is an American who, with her 3 younger sisters, flees an evil stepfather and goes to London to find her mother’s noble relatives. Her mother married a poor younger son for love and was disowned by her father, the late Earl of Stewkesbury. So yes, I think it had potential. She meets Sir Royce Winslow and (of course) sparks fly. He asks her to marry him after they’ve slept together, and she says no. She says no repeatedly. And vociferously. Personally, I didn’t find Mary to be all that lovable — she’s very controlling and very, VERY annoying. I could never figure out what Sir Royce saw in her. Other characters were far more interesting, but I don’t know if I can get the bad taste from this one out of my mouth and read the other 2 books in the series. We’ll see.

I hate making such a snap judgment (well, maybe I don’t hate it, but…), but I really can’t help thinking that Ms. Camp should stick with modern books and leave historicals alone. Final grade: C-

I gave it away to Goodwill. Maybe someone else will like it. ( )
  Cyberlibrariannyc | Aug 21, 2011 |
A found it a fun read that contrasted the English aristocracy to their American cousins, who were quite unsophisticated,unpretentious and free wheeling( as free wheeling as girls could be at that time). ( )
  echarles18 | Sep 2, 2010 |
Mary Bascombe is a woman on a mission. With her father died her mother confessing, moments before dieing, she is granddaughter to the Earl of Stewkesbury. Now Mary must cross the dangerous waters of the Atlantic with her three sisters in hopes for a better life. They leave behind all they know, including a sinister step-father who wishes to sell the girls for profit. The four young woman are an independent and wildly bunch who stick together when danger arises and someone tries kidnapping their sister, Rose.

Sir Royce Winslow is a man in the right place at the right time. When the girls papers are stolen, which will prove who they are to the Earl, Royce apprehends the culprit. He lays eyes on the four feisty woman but it is Mary that pulls at his heart. When he learns of their lineage, Royce brings them to see the predecessor to the Earl, whom is his step brother through marriage. The girls are then sent to Willowmere, the earl's country estate, to be polished and learn the ways of an English Lady. However, Royce can't help himself and he joins them. Mary is a welcomed relief to the stuffy and rule abiding ladies he's used to. Now, if only he can only keep the girls safe and win Mary's heart, the world would be perfect.

I was very submerged in this novel. Actually, today I looked for the followup to it so that I can put it on my TRL (to read list). Being one who has read very few historic novels, I found Ms. Camp's rendition of the time knowledgeable and believable. I could see the dresses and male attire clearly, hear their way of talk and understand what was expected of them during this age of time. The emotional and sexually pull between the two main characters was brilliantly played out and I didn't mind having to wait close to 230 pages for them to finally consummate their yearnings. I can fully admit, I appreciate a good sex scene and I wasn't disappointed. All and all, the book was a wonderful read which had me thirsting for more. ( )
  RebeccaRose | Jun 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Willowmere (book 1)
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For my grandmother, Lula Lee Bibby Irons,

who was never too busy to join in a game of make-believe
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Mary Bascombe was scared.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"When Mary Bascombe's stepfather tries to sell her and her sisters to the highest bidder after their mother's death, she resolves to take drastic action. Although their British mother was estranged from her family, Mary decides the four will flee to London and take their place in society as granddaughters of the Earl of Stewkesbury. Dashing Sir Royce Winslow doubts the honesty of the young women's claim--despite their charms, they seem to be hiding something. His attraction to feisty Mary, however, is no ruse, so when the sisters are shipped off to Willowmere, the earl's country estate, to acquire some polish, Royce is quick to join them. When an unknown villain attempts a kidnapping, Royce and Mary are thrown together as they confront the danger . . . and Royce learns that while high society may sing the praises of proper behavior, it is a most improper American who is winning his heart."--P. [4] of cover.

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Mary Bascombe comes to England in search of her noble relatives, but discovers both danger and a dangerously handsome suitor.

**************

The Bascombe sisters, Mary, Rose, Camellia and Lily, live in Three Corners, Pennsylvania. Their dying mother urges them to flee their stepfather and travel to London, to their long-estranged grandfather, the Earl of Stewsbury.

They meet the dashing Sir Royce Winslow, and are reunited with their mother's family. Attracted to the feisty Mary, Winslow accompanies them to Willowsmere, the earl's country estate, where they are to acquire some social polish. When an unknown villain attempts a kidnapping, Royce and Mary are thrown together as they confront the danger ... and Royce learns that while high society may sing the praises of proper behavior, it is a most improper American who is winning his heart. [adapted from cover]
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