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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This well written and reasonably enjoyable regency romance is the first in a series of eight books by six different authors which share common characters and a common background, and which follows on from a terrible scandal which had taken place two decades before ...

Once apon a time three young men of noble birth had been friends and colleagues, working for a government department. But then one of them had been murdered, and a second accused of the crime - and not just hanged for it, but attainted, so that his wife and young children lost everything.

Twenty years later the scandal resurfaces, dragging in the surviving member of the original trio and the children of all three of them. But it is far from obvious who is who ...

At the start of this book, on 5th January 1814, a young woman who calls herself Nell Latham is working as a milliner and struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes she is called on to deliver hats and other items of clothing to wealthy clients, and it does not seem particularly unusual or sinister when one of her customers asks her to deliver a parcel to a peer she has never heard of, the Earl of Narborough.

At least, it did not appear suspicious until the Earl collapses in shock when he sees the contents of the parcel, and Nell finds herself suspected by the Earl's handsome son Marcus, Lord Stanegate, of being part of a conspiracy to harm his father.

This prompts her to open a sealed package of correspondence which her dead mother had left her but she had previously found the thought of reading too painful. Having read it, Nell realises that whoever used her as a pawn to deliver the parcel must have known things about her birth which she had long forgotten or never known. Unless her selection to deliver the parcel was a miraculous coincidence, she must either have been part of the message, or as much a target as Lord Narborough was.

Nell finds Marcus's arrogance infuriating but she also finds him strangely attractive. But someone appears to be out to harm both her and Marcus's family, and they are both in danger. And if she tells Marcus who she really is, is there any hope that he will trust her, or believe her protestations of innocence?

I didn't find the story tremendously plausible - although I have read far worse - and there was none of the wealth of period detail about the world of the haut ton which the best regency writers such as Georgette Heyer or Marion Chesney (also known as M.C. Beaton) build into their books. This is somewhere between a good three star book and the bottom end of four stars.

After some consideration it just scrapes the fourth star because there were flashes of considerable entertainment value in the interplay between the characters and I was able to suspend disbelief while reading it. If you like light regency romances with a touch of the cloak and dagger about them, you will probably enjoy this.

The "Regency Silk and Scandals" series consists of:

1) This book, "The Lord and the Wayward Lady" by Louise Allen

2) "Paying the Virgin's Price (Mills & Boon Regency Silk & Scandals)" by Christine Merrill

3) "The Smuggler and the Society Bride (Mills & Boon - Regency Silk & Scandals)" by Julia Justiss

4) "Claiming The Forbidden Bride (MB Continuities)" by Gayle Wilson

5) "The Viscount and the Virgin (Mira (Direct))" by Annie Burrows

6) "Unlacing the Innocent Miss (Mills & Boon Regency Silk & Scandals) (MB Continuities)" by Margaret McPhee

7) "The Officer and the Proper Lady (Regency Silk & Scandal) (MB Continuities)" by Louise Allen

8) "Taken by the Wicked Rake (Mills & Boon - Regency Silk & Scandals) (MB Continuities)" by Christine Merrill.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2010
I've never read Louise Allen before and I was pleasantly surprised. Her voice makes it easy to sink into the book and her characterizations are fully-realized without page after page of introspection. Nell is a sweet and industrious heroine who is only looking to make a living while she dreams impossible dreams in her shabby one-room home. Marcus is a take-charge hero who has a tendency to jump to conclusions and they're invariably wrong. So the question is, will he see the error of his ways in time for a happy ending? Since it's a romance I think you can figure that part out...

The Lord and the Wayward Lady is an entertaining read and a good start to the Silk and Scandal series. ~ Renee, [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2010
This is the opening book in an eight book Harlequin series - "Silk and Scandal" - with each book written by a different author (except for Louise Allen and Christine Merrill who write two apiece). The series is off to a strong start with an intriguing mystery surrounding an old murder case for which perhaps the wrong man was convicted. Nell Latham is the daughter of the man convicted and hung for the murder. Marcus Carlow, Viscount Stanegate, is the son of the man who was the chief witness against Nell's father. Now twenty years later, a mysterious stranger, trying to dredge up the past for nefarious reasons, contrives for Nell and Marcus' paths to cross. They are unaware of their common history and become involved with each other before they realize the connection....then things become rather complicated!

This story grabbed my interest from the start and never let it go. The Carlow family presents a winning ensemble, and Nell is a dynamic addition to the mix. I enjoyed watching Nell and Marcus alternatively feed and fight their feelings for each other while various family members looked on with knowing smiles. The mystery component is weighty and compelling, and I was particularly curious as to who could be behind the persistent threats. Nell was sometimes difficult, but the interchanges between her and Marcus were easy to enjoy...their protective feelings towards one another quite endearing. I look forward to the next installment, "Paying the Virgin's Price", by Christine Merrill.
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on January 13, 2014
This is the first book in a seven book series which is annoying so to save you the trouble: The story here is fine as a stand alone light read. The ultimate villain of the series (responsible for the 20 year old mystery) is who you think it is by the end of this book and the kidnapper is who you think it is too. I skimmed a few of the books. The last in the series is really poor from a story perspective but confirms everything you knew at the end of the first book.

Long series that drag more and more peripheral characters into prominence in order to keep the whole thing going are not my particular cup of tea. A few books using the same story line is fine but this series is constructed to keep the underlying mystery going way too long and worse, is written by several different writers with quite frankly different levels of talent. Very annoying concept and I hope publishers don't do it again.
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on December 19, 2013
We meet Nell and Marcus as he interrogates her after she delivers a silken rope to his ailing father. She manages to escape but soon Marc has her back under his watch. Complex plotline, great characters and dialogue. The mystery unfolds.
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on October 14, 2013
Intriguing story line. I liked the characters & the plot. The story kept moving and was a great introduction for the other stories to follow. I enjoyed all the stories in the series. They were worth reading!
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on January 3, 2014
Louise Allen always delivers. Her books are full of information and romance. Her characters are believable and not silly or stupid.
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on December 26, 2014
5star read. I loved this book!!!
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on June 14, 2015
Ending is too vague
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