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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Being Improper by Alexandra O’Hurley

Being Improper by Alexandra O’Hurley
Publisher: Evernight Publisher
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (70 pages)
Other: M/F,
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Born into world as mere chattel, Carrie Scott rebels against the oppression women are dealt in 1897 Philadelphia the only way she knows how—by hiding under layers of black mourning clothes worn for a fiancé she respected but did not love. Freedom from the marriage auction block allowed her the quiet she needed, but the lonely life eventually made her body yearn for more.

Dr. Matthew Gibson was floored to see his best friend’s little sister standing in his office, now the full fledged beauty he had always expected her to become. But the fact she was asking to be treated for “Female Hysteria” made his fingers itch to touch her and claim her as his own.

Neither knew that the one afternoon in his office would change their lives forever.

Delightfully improper. That’s what came to mind as I became engrossed in Alexandra O’ Hurley’s novel, Being Improper.

The story begins with a number one major no-no for society: a forbidden doctor-patient relationship. Carrie is a sweet young girl, too smart and too outgoing for her time period, who thinks she has female hysteria. When she goes to visit handsome Dr. Mathew, sparks ensue. The building of anticipation between them and what would happen was craftfully written; I was on the edge of my seat as the doctor drew out his remedy for Carrie.

Carrie and Mathew are sweet characters, especially Carrie. She really tugged at my heartstrings. She’s sort of naive but with a curious and kinky streak that made her endearing. I specially loved her curiosity for the male anatomy (the scene in which she performed a hand job was fun, erotic and very visual).

Mathew is a kind, good man, who’s terribly in love and doesn’t know how to show it. He didn’t come off as your usual dominant, aggressive male alpha. He staked his claim on Carrie but in a more desperate, love sick, intellectual way. He was a man willing to do anything to make the woman he loved happy.

Though she was a secondary character, Carrie’s best friend, Etta and her prying, knowing ways made me laugh more than once. She was a great addition to the story!

Though it was part of the plot and Carrie’s emotional baggage, I didn’t like the family drama. It was a nuisance to have that big secret revealed almost at the end of the story, when the characters could have lived happily ever after. However, the description of the family feud was well crafted and Ms. O’ Hurley did succeed in making me hate Carrie’s brother and father.

Being Improper is a quick hot read with a sweet ending that will leave you with a smile.

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