The Edge of Impropriety by Pam Rosenthal
Publisher: Penguin Group, Signet Eclipse
Review by Viscaria
Marina Wyatt, popular novelist and beautiful Countess of Gorham, is irresistible fodder for gossip columns, in which her ribald private life is the stuff of public scandal. Of course, Marina's too sharp and resourceful not to realize that the publicity helps sell her romances. In fact, the release of her latest novel happens to coincide with the rebuff of her current lover, the handsome and frivolous gadabout Sir Anthony Hedges, opening the door to an unexpected and totally consuming new affair.
Anthony's uncle, the noted scholar and antiquarian Jasper James Hedges, has arrived in London to appraise the art of a wealthy collector. In Marina he sees a priceless work of art of another kind. And for all of Marina's passionate inventions, nothing can compare to what Jasper delivers - an erotic adventure of intrigue and betrayal... a dangerous voyage to the edge of impropriety and beyond.
This was my first chance to review a book by Ms. Rosenthal, and I’m glad I got this opportunity. She took me on a sensual journey that left me with a smile on my face.
Marina Wyatt is not what one would expect of a Regency heroine, and I was glad for that. No simpering maiden here. The beautiful widowed Countess of Gorham, she is a woman who knows what she wants… and isn’t afraid to use it to better her life. Her rather scandalous reputation has helped to further her career and I had to admire the absolute … guts she displayed in using her notoriety to boost her sales. A strong woman who has had to make do with circumstances, she instead rose above them. Although not altogether happy with where her life has taken her, Marina didn’t bemoan what she lacked, instead she moved on. I absolutely loved getting to know Marina.
As Marina was not what one would expect in a heroine, Jasper Hedges was not at all what I would have expected from a hero either. His forbearance in caring for his charges until they were able to care for themselves was quite admirable. His bumbling personality was a fun, if not altogether unpredictable foil for Marina’s sophistication. The fact that he had no idea as to his appeal made him even more charming in this humble reviewer’s opinion.
I was really quite pleased with the fact that Marina and Jasper were not in their first blush of youth but were instead mature adults without false expectations. That isn’t to say that they didn’t have any expectations, for what kind of love story would that be? They were instead much more interesting in that they had quite a bit more baggage to work through in order to make it to the love they both so richly deserved. Throw in a very entertaining cast of secondary characters, and a subplot of a much younger love that had a better chance of learning from other’s mistakes and you have a wonderfully erotic story with much to recommend it. With her beautiful imagery and sensual heat Pam Rosenthal is definitely an author to keep an eye on.