Already a fan of Katharine Ashe, it took no decision making whatsoever to decide whether or not to read HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY but throw in a heroine who happens to be the master of her own ship and an ex-pirate named Jin and I knew positively I'd be in heaven. I purchased this one for my own personal reading but of course, knew I would share it with you.
Blurb for HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY:
The Rules of Being a Proper Lady
1) Never take steps greater than six inches apart.
2) Never look boldly at a gentleman.
3) And never, ever, kiss a man who is not your fiancÉ.
But beautiful, bold Viola Carlyle doesn't care about the rules. And she desperately wants to kiss the notoriously tempting Captain Jin Seton, the man who brought her kicking and fighting back to English society. Kidnapped as a child, now she longs to return to that life of freedom where she was able to live—and love—as she wished.
Having hunted Viola for two years, Jin Seton has finally found his good luck—for, by finding Viola, his oldest, deepest debt will at last be paid. And although he has vowed not to let her win his heart, this very improper lady might finally be the one who tames him.
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Viola Carlyle was born into English society but at a young age she was taken away from it all by the man who was her true father, Fionn Daly. For the next fifteen years she lived her life on the high seas. She learned the ways of life aboard ship better than anything she knew before. After her father's death, she became the master of the April Storm. As Captain Violet la Vile Daly, she is loved and respected by her crew but can hold her own in a battle and has now sunk the notorious Cavalier.
Jinan Seton has led a hard life. Sold into slavery by his mother's husband as a boy and bought by another boy who freed him. Alex Savege became his family. Having long felt the need to payback the debt owed to this man he now calls friend and compatriot, he takes it upon himself to do just that. When he discovers that Serena Carlyle Savege, the wife of his old friend, believes her little sister Viola is alive, Jin decides to take it upon himself to find the girl and return her to her family.
Viola has a mind of her own and she does not take orders - not from anyone - especially from a subordinate. When she agrees to take Captain Jin Seton on as her quartermaster after sinking his ship, the Cavalier, she keeps a close eye on him for more than just the reason of possible mutiny - she can't seem to keep her eyes off of him.
Jin's mission is to convince the brash and beautiful captain that she wants to return to England and to her family but knows he's up against a stubborn streak the ocean wide. When Viola inadvertently wagers him that she can make him fall in love with her, he finds his opportunity. If she loses, she must return willingly to England with him - if he loses, he must forfeit his new ship being readied for him after they return from Port of Spain. The last thing he expects is to lose but when she eventually agrees to return with him to England, he holds back the truth of his feelings for he will never be worthy of her. After all, Viola Carlyle was born a lady and he, only a slave.
HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY by Katharine Ashe is everything I love in a historical romance. High seas adventure with a woman as equally good a sailor as any man. Katharine knows her high seas adventures and definitely knows her shipboard life. It's a story about a tough but vulnerable young heroine captivated by a man who was once known as the pirate, Pharaoh. It's about a man who carries a sense of abandonment and secrets that surprise and astonish the young breeches-wearing and beautiful captain.
Katharine Ashe creates a whole cast of characters that make you smile, laugh, and cheer. Yet, swells your heart with emotion for a girl who's left behind in England without a sail in sight as the man who now owns her heart leaves without even a farewell. With accuracy and flair, with endearing emotion, Katharine will have you feeling the wind in your hair, the sea spray on your face and the swell of the sea beneath the ship while you sail the rocky course that is Viola and Jin's tense, exciting, and sensuous romance in HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY.
I highly recommend HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY by Katharine Ashe if you love historical romance with secrets of a King's agent club swirling in the background and a romantic pair that will have you dreaming of the hero and wishing you were the heroine.
Happy Reading Everyone!
HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY by Katharine Ashe, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats.