on November 27, 2009
Summer is American that grew up in Tombstone Arizona, where she learned to shoot, and fight, but not schooled in the ways of a lady. Her father uprooted herself and her friend Maria to New York so he could continue investing in railroads and such. New York did not welcome her odd, uncivilized ways. All, except for Monte, who she is engaged too. Although Summer is very wealthy, Monte's family does not accept that she is not a proper lady. So Summer Wine Lee has traveled to London and hired the Duke of Monchester, otherwise known as Byron to make her into a Lady so she can be presented to the Queen and go back to the states to marry Monte and make his family happy.
Byron is an impoverished Duke, he owns properly but they are quite ill maintained. He keeps his status and elite position in London by being Prince Albert's eyes and ears in society. He collects embarrassing or funny stories about London's elite and shares these stories with the prince to amuse him. Byron abhors American women who come to London title hunting. He is quick to offend and shock Summer and Maria. But Summer sees this as a golden opportunity - no sidestepping or manners to get in the way of shaping her up quickly to become a lady. His brash manner and shocking talk does nothing to embarrass her, much to the shock of Byron.
Byron is given an offer he can't very well refuse. Summer offers him a hefty investment in the railroad she owns. Byron would be free of selling himself out to the prince, he would be able to live the life he wants, and not have to collect the silly stories that hurts others. Byron finds that Summer is not your everyday girl looking for a title. She carries a knife on herself, she is never one to be embarrassed - she is quite the match for Byron. The more time they spend together, the more the romance blooms.
I've gone back and forth in my head with My Unfair Lady. It is a cute premise for a book, but there were so many times I stopped reading because Summer or Byron did or thought something that just did not connect with me.
At the beginning of the book, Byron makes such a big deal about the amount of work he is going to have to do to get Summer ready but then two weeks are skipped and we don't get to read any of his "preparations". That is not to say she is a perfect lady by the time those two weeks are over, and I actually liked the fact that she stays true to who she is. However I think the story would have benefited by seeing how he transformed her those two weeks.
As the romance starts to develop between these two, I felt Summer lost her feelings for Monte way too easily. She travels all the way to London to be put at the grace of a Duke who humiliates people for a living, and I don't think we saw her struggle with her feelings for Monte as she should have. After Byron and Summer give into temptation and he pleasures her and Byron wants to continue with intercourse, this conversation follows:
"I mean I can't," she took a deep breath, "make love to you."
[...] "I've already made love to you, my American girl. What we do now is rather anti-climatic, don't you think?"
Summer blinked. He looked so beautiful in gaslight. "Yes, no, I mean, I gave my word to another man. I have to uphold that vow until and unless he releases me."
His hands started sliding down her arms. "Too late," he murmured.
"No, it's not. I haven't betrayed him completely."
And then she proceeds to pleasure him. I get that if she is falling in love with Byron, and Monte is all the way in the States, she just can't call and say hey - it's over between us. But at this point in the story, she still has intentions to marry Monte, and I'm sorry but what she did with Byron is betraying Monte. A few pages later, Summer does have a revelation and admits to herself she had betrayed Monte and then she decides to "stop these feelings she had for the duke. Thank goodness she hadn't done anything that she couldn't undo." Which, as I take it, means since she didn't have intercourse, she didn't have to worry about a baby. But then soon after she does have sex with him and afterwards she thinks this:
"Stop it," she whispered firmly to herself, "We're finished." Wasn't that the whole point of their encounter today, to end this longing for him? Or did it go deeper than that?
Summer winced. It didn't matter, anyway. She'd made a promise to another man, and it would take more than one steamy afternoon to break it.
The back and forth, wishy-washy feelings made Summer an unlikable heroine in my opinion. I did enjoy Byron - cold hearted, quick with his tongue, not necessarily a nice person all the time. Someone is out to murder him and Summer and Byron must deal with the danger of the unknown always lurking about. Summer's friend, Maria, who is not shy at all about the way she acts is a cute addition to the story. If I could have reconciled myself to Summer, I would have enjoyed this book much more.
on November 13, 2009
Born and raised in the infamous town of Tombstone, frontier lass Summer Lee is far from one of London's gently breed society ladies. But London is where she is looking to hire a titled man to teach her the ways of ladies.
You see, after Summer's father made a fortune doing this and that, he uprooted her to New York city where a handsome young man named Monte caught her fancy, and he's asked her to marry him, but his family snubs their nose at her because of her lack of propriety. Summer's not too suave when it comes to upper-class formalities.
So it's off to London for some training. Lord Byron, Duke of Monchester finds himself filling that precarious position as his need for the money she offers overrides his better judgment.
Neither Byron nor Summer are looking for a love match. But after much time spent attending balls, and dinners and the occasional deal that may or may not include a kiss, as well as a dose of danger. Summer and Byron are finding it easy telling their heads nothing is happening between them. It's trying to convince their hearts. That stubborn organ doesn't appear to want to listen.
I enjoyed this book immensely. I've read Kathryne Kennedy's Relics of Merlin series and while those are filled with magic, I felt that My Unfair Lady was filled with magic as well. Not in the paranormal sense, but in the writing. Ms. Kennedy weaved her characters together in such a way that you could feel Summer as her unconventional behavior penetrates Byron's cold façade, chipping away the layers to the true man beneath. And the love between them felt as accidental as it was meant to be. Another sweetly sensual tale weaved and brought to life by one of my favorite writers! However, I did grow a bit concerned with the continued motivation of Summer toward the end to continue carrying the pretense she wanted to be a lady for the sake of her vow to Monte. But all in all, it moved along swiftly. And I adored the secondary cast of 'critters'. Most especially, India, the monkey!
The moral of this story...Be happy for being who you are. Don't change yourself for love or for social standings, love will find you. The right person will embrace you, stand beside you, and support you for being you. And that's what both Summer and Byron learn in this book. My Unfair Lady is a remarkable tale of love and acceptance.
on November 24, 2009
Set in the year 1885. Summer Wine Lee grew up with her father in Tombstone, Arizona, a mining town in America. Even though she is now rich, her fiancé's upper crust family does not consider her to be an acceptable bride. To remedy this, Summer travels to London, England, with her friend, Maria Sanchez, and her Chihuahua, Chi-chi. Her intension is to be presented to the royal family. With the acceptance of England's highest-of-the-high, Summer can prove her worthiness.
Summer hires the Duke of Monchester (Byron) to teach her all things necessary to successfully complete her quest. However, Summer did not realize there would be so much to learn. Summer is used to carrying a knife (a gift from an Apache friend) at all times. Guns, loose women, and harsh language do not bother her. So Summer is amazed at how stifled the women in England are. English ladies cannot even touch anyone, unless she is presenting a properly gloved hand to be escorted to the dance floor. Summer must face the fact that she has her work cut out for her.
Monchester, who is used to intimidating others and has developed a talent to humiliate his prey, cannot shock or insult Summer, no matter how hard he tries. He even bluntly admits at their first meeting how much he despises all American women. Yet Summer is a constant surprise to him! If she is not totally shocking him, she is causing him to laugh aloud; something he cannot recall doing for years. All too soon, this American lady is changing how Monchester looks at her.
***** FIVE STARS! Historical Romances by Kathryne Kennedy always has something for everyone. This one has hot romance, suspense (someone is trying to kill Monchester), humor, and so much more. Summer's collection of adopted pets kept me constantly amused. She has a monkey, a vixen, an old cat that cannot use its hind legs so it gets around by using ... Never mind. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed the odd animals.
For the history buffs, the story tells much about history in America and England. Prince Albert Edward even makes several appearances. As I said, something for everyone. I loved every moment of Summer's story! The author, Kathryne Kennedy, is more than good. She is downright smashing! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
on August 13, 2012
The concept of the story was okay. Unfortunately, it wasn't carried out. Throughtout the book, Summer's and Byron's, the H&H, thought processes and life relationships bringing them to the point of the story didn't make sense. Everything was very disjointed. One point I would like to make is this: Summer continually referred to her childhood best friend as an "injun". Even in the time frame of this story, this termanology was derogatory. So why would you refer to your best friend as an "injun"? I was offened and became angrier every time I read it! Summer's adult best friend, Maria, didn't fit the story either. No basis for her at all. The whole thing was a waste of time and money.
I actually finished this book . . . by skipping over many, many paragraphs. I can't imagine myself buying another book by this author.
on November 29, 2009
I was familiar with Kathryn Kennedy's Relics of Merlin, so when I heard she had a new book coming out I was very interested to see what it was all about. I knew I would enjoy it since it was to be set in the Victorian era. My Unfair Lady was a fun read. It was a journey of love, trust and acceptance. Beautiful written. I was captivated by the characters and story. My favorite part was how opposite Summer and Byron were, I found that very interesting. So, different but still drawn to each other. If you are fan of the play Pygmalion or the musical My Fair Lady, there is a good chance you'll enjoy this new spin on a beloved story.
on August 14, 2012
I have previously read and greatly enjoyed Kathryne Kennedy's books, but, for me, this one fell short. According to my old English teacher, a good book shows rather than tells, but this book told to the point of being didactic. The character's thoughts and actions were relayed simplistically and in a very uninteresting manner. Similarly, I could not get past the Duke of Monchester being referred throughout as "the duke". Faults such as these made the characterisation and plot weak, when both initially had great potential. I have never written a review before, and I hesitate to make my first one so negative, but I felt that my opinion was not well-covered in other reviews, and sought to provide a wider picture to others considering investing time and money in this book.
on May 5, 2013
I loved this one. I admit I'm getting into the whole historical romance thing now. These two have explosive personalities and they work well together. Maria also deserves a prize. I loved the way Kennedy develops the story, the pace, the fact that she's so liberal and transparent with the erotic/sexual elements and scenes. When I see work like this, I HAVE to know what else the writer has done.
Imagine the fireworks and humor when an unabashed Wild West beauty encounters proper Victorian English aristocracy! Summer Wine Lee needs to impress her future mother-in-law, a lady of high New York standing, if she is to ever have a hope of marrying her beloved Monte. Summer travels to England, hiring the infamous Duke of Monchester to make her into a proper lady. With his royal connections, he can assure her the position she needs to impress Mrs. Astor and the New York bluebloods upon her return home. The Duke of Monchester has every intention of turning her away. He hates all the desperate Americans who come to London seeking to buy their titles. He is not afraid to destroy them --- in fact, he takes delight in spreading word of their antics as entertainment. One word from his scathing tongue can destroy a girl's reputation and all hope of success. When he meets Summer, a woman with all the spunk and wildness of Annie Oakley, the Duke of Monchester simply can't resist her unusual ways. With a knife in her boot and a menagerie beside her, can he ever tame her spirit or will her ways change his?
In her latest Victorian romance MY UNFAIR LADY, Kathryne Kennedy brings all the magic of her previous paranormal Victorian romances into a more classic historical romance. While the characters possess no paranormal powers, their interactions with one another are pure magic, a magic born from the heart. Summer Wine Lee has all the spunk of a wild west spitfire. Unrestrained by societal pressures, she is both innocent at heart and yet unafraid to act naturally even if it shocks the British aristocracy. She has all the bravery and know-how of the Apache. Most of all, she is not a woman to sit meekly when action is required. Quite simply, she is a handful for the Duke! The Duke of Monchester is not a nice man. His sharp tongue can be deadly and his cynical humorous view of life cuts him off from deeper human interactions. Summer Wine Lee, on the other hand, seems his opposite. Innocent and caring, she has an inner sense of honor, an honor that clings doggedly to a vow even when her heart does not match. Both the Duke and Summer need each other more than they know, not for the passion that grows between them, but their love challenges them to face themselves, expanding their hearts and understanding of honor. Each opens up a depth within the other, setting the other free to be more fully themselves. Kathryne Kennedy's MY UNFAIR LADY is a delightful twist on a classic tale, a twist that adds the magic and depth of romance more fully from the woman's point of view than the Pygmalion myth or even the modern musical resonating in the title. In Kathryne Kennedy's telling, both the hero and heroine are transformed. Each grows through the influence of the other and each more fully becomes his or herself through the magic of love.
MY UNFAIR LADY captivates from start to finish. Wonderful humor abounds as these unlikely pair encounter one another and Summer's enthusiastic energy breaks through all conventions. Sexy yet sweet, MY UNFAIR LADY is a romance for all those readers who cherish the magic of innocence as well as the logic of the passionate heart. Kathryne Kennedy is a storyteller through and through. Her writing makes reading effortless. From the first pages, I was so drawn into this story that I was unable to put it down until I reached the last page. Kathryne Kennedy's MY UNFAIR LADY has everything --- memorable characters that steal the heart, romance that sizzles with its chemistry, a suspenseful subplot, humorous action, and above all, a romance that reaches to the depth of both man and woman. Quite simply, in a world overflowing with new releases screaming for attention, MY UNFAIR LADY brings this reader back to the joy of reading romance and the pleasure of reading from the pen of a gifted storyteller.
COURTESY OF BOOK ILLUMINATIONS
on November 24, 2012
I first read Kathryn Kennedy in the Elfin series and so enjoyed her book I had to keep reading every book by her I could. They are long and you have to read each page so you don't get lost but that is what makes it so good.
on May 9, 2010
MY UNFAIR LADY
What an absolute gem of a book!! By far my favorite Regency I have read in a long time. Refreshing, new and beautifully written. Poignant, funny, sexy and just marvelous!
Wealthy Summer Wine Lee arrives in London with the whole purpose of hiring someone to make her behave like a lady and teach her the ways of proper society. Her companion is Maria Sanchez, a half Apache/Mexican beauty that is as unspoken and uncouth as a miner. Both women are a complete anomaly in London's respectable society - and both have soft hearts towards "critters" - rescuing and sheltering abused animals of all kids.
With her heart set on being presented to the Queen so she can enter polite society in New York city and win the approval of her intended - Summer hires the Duke of Monchester (Byron) to give her the polish she needs to meet her goals.
The story starts with Monchester arriving at Summer's rental home. He is a sallow and indifferent man, with rude and uncaring remarks spewing from his lips, as his behavior, mannerisms, and acid vocabulary is what's expected of him to fit in with the rest of the stilted society. Impoverished and now a Duke after the death of his father, he has inherited derelict properties and is in need of money so he accepts Summer's proposal, though he finds her speech and mannerisms appalling. To top that - he hates all American heiresses that are in London to snare a title.
Summer has seen her fair share of surly and aggravating men - having lived in Arizona at the father's silver mine. So no matter how hard Byron tries to humiliate Summer, she turns his behavior around by her outlandish characteristics and her kind and outspoken loving heart. Her antics and outrageous behavior makes him laugh and as their association progresses, we see a different man emerge from the one we originally meet.
The developing relationship between Summer and Byron is so beautiful. He slowly succumbs to her naiveté, caring charm, and is very attracted to her. He is baffled how such a petite woman, can outshoot everyone, with both - bow and arrow, and exert marksmanship with a riffle - she even carries a knife strapped to her leg at all times.
The coterie of animals that Summer has around her is absolutely charming - you will have some LOL moments of hilarity by her pets, their names and antics.
This was an absolutely charming story - from beginning to end - you will not be able to put the book down.
It has it all - suspense (a killer wants to eliminate Byron), humor, smoldering sensuality, spicy sexy scenes, touching poignant romance and a cast of characters that you will love.
By far my favorite novel by Kathryne Kennedy! This is a lovely and beautiful story that will touch your heart and have you cheering at the end!!! (A little bit reminiscent of Lyon's Lady - by Julie Garwood)