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Secrets of a Proper Lady (Last Man Standing, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; First Edition edition (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060882646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060882648
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lady Cordelia Bannister, Lord Marsham's youngest daughter, is a self-assured Victorian woman who writes articles about her extensive travels for ladies' magazines. Still single at 25, even Cordelia admits that too much independence isn't a good thing, but when her father engages Cordelia to a wealthy American, Daniel Sinclair, a man she's never met, Cordelia is furious. Determined to do what is best for her family, Cordelia sets out with her cousin to learn more about Daniel. When she comes upon a man in the park claiming to be Daniel's secretary, she assumes a false name to gather information, not realizing he's actually Daniel. Cordelia quickly finds herself falling for the handsome American, and he with her. Mistaken identities securely in place, Alexander has a fine time orchestrating the sparkling battle of wits between them. The leads make a superb match, bringing to mind classic sparring partners like Katharina and Petruchio or Bogie and Bacall; readers will be too amused by them to care that the supporting characters are a bit stunted. While there is no serious tension, Alexander knows what her romance readers want-charming characters, sharp banter, missed connections and a happy ending-and delivers with gusto. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

#1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was more fun than real life. She is the author of thirty-one novels, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Victoria lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her long-suffering husband and two dogs, in a house under endless renovation and never-ending chaos.

Customer Reviews

I found it unromantic and boring.
J. Garza
I enjoyed this story tremendously; and if you enjoy smart and funny lighthearted Historical romantic comedies--I think you will too.
Irene M.
I've read a lot of historical romances recently and unfortunately this is one of my least favorites.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Irene M. on September 26, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In SECRETS OF A PROPER LADY, the third book in Victoria Alexander's fabulous and fun "Last Man Standing" series, the author takes us back to 1854 Victorian England and gives us a thoroughly delightful tale that's set partly in London, but also offers us a refreshingly different setting, that of the picturesque seaside resort town of Brighton. Ms. Alexander gives us some interesting descriptions of the once little fishing town that was made into a lively, exciting and fashionable gathering place by the Prince Regent, later known as King George IV, who had the magnificent and exotically beautiful Royal Pavilion built.

Lady Cordelia Bannister, the youngest daughter of the Earl of Marsham, is pretty, intelligent and has a very independent nature. She is very well traveled for a young woman of her time and is also a talented writer who has written several articles for ladies magazines; and eventually plans to write a book on travel for women. At almost 26 Cordelia has yet to marry--though she had had several offers, she never felt her affections were engaged. She wants to marry a man who'll accept her for herself, respect her and her opinions and also--to marry for love.

In the past her parents had always supported her endeavors, as well as, her desire to wed for love, but now her father's having some financial problems with his shipping enterprise and he wants Cordelia to accept an arranged marriage to the only son of Mr. Harold Sinclair; a wealthy and well respected American businessman. Mr. Sinclair owns a very successful steamship line and both families would benefit--socially and financially--from the union.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Cox on October 21, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As many others here, I really liked the first two books in this trilogy and was prepared to like this one as well. And in some respects I did just that.

This is something out of a Shakespeare farce, where false identities and misunderstandings abound, all the while making you laugh out loud. Miss Cordelia Bannister, having been told she has to marry an American, Daniel Sinclair, passes herself as her own companion, Sarah, to who she thinks is her intended's Secretary, Warren. It's all very confusing, and entertaining. The dialogue is witty in many spots and I thought the hero and heroine were mostly delightful.

So what could be wrong with the book you might ask? And I think the answer is...editing. First there are several, as in 'one too many', instances where there are mispellings and bad dialogue flow. You lose track occasionally of who is speaking when. But the real problem here, and this is the first book where I've ever encountered this, is that she uses the same phrase or variation of a phrase, over and over again. In the interest of the characters being snarky and witty she has them muttering under their breath. All the time! I thought at one point it would make a great drinking game. You know, take a drink every time you read the word 'muttered'. I quickly realized though, that if you did that you might very well die of achohol poisoning. No lie. They mutter and mumble to themselves every few pages. Sometimes twice on the same page and occasionally in the same paragraph. The first time I realized what was going on I laughed to myself, then as it continued I became annoyed only to end up back at laughter towards the end as it just became absurd.

If you don't think something like that would drive you up the wall, then by all means get this book and read it. It has some good points and you might really enjoy it. Like I said, there were times I laughed out loud at how funny it was, and those were the intentional laughs. Just be warned.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wells Bengston on December 12, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first romance novel, beside the incomparable Jane Austen, whose books, all of them, I have read, that I could not put down. I've tried to read other romance a few other times, but the quality has just not been there. This one was excellent, and I just had to finish and find out what happens. The characters are quite believable, and you really start to care what happens to them. It may not be up to the level of Jane Austen, but that's to be expected.

I will be reading more Victoria Alexander in the near future.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By cb VINE VOICE on October 24, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Groups of four men form a tontine and the winner is the last man married. Very quick two men are out leaving Daniel Sinclair and Oliver Leighton. Daniel's father arranges for him to marry Cordelia to blend their business interests. Cordelia decided to pretend to be her own companion and Daniel pretends to be his secretary and the lies just building. This book had me laughing and shaking my head at the characters (in a watching train wreck kind-a way!). This was my favorite of the series, Enjoy!
Check out the whole series; A Little Bit Wicked (1), What a Lady Wants (2), Secrets of a Proper Lady (3)

If you enjoy this genre, I would also suggest; Forever Yours by Janmarie Anello and How to Abduct a Highland Lord by Karen Hawkins, The Education of Mrs. Brimley by Donna MacMeans and The Heir and the Spare by Maya Rodale.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katie Buckingham on December 11, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was very cute and kept you wondering what trouble the main character was going to get into next. Sometimes you are yelling JUST TELL THE TRUTH! I like the story line and I liked the book. Would recommend to the historical reader who is not looking for mushy mushy love stuff. Very funny at the same time romantic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author



New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.

Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written thirty-one full length novels and six novellas. Find a complete list on her website http://www.victoriaalexander.com and chat with her on facebook https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaAlexandersPlace

The Perfect Wife--originally published in 1996 and reissued in March 2008--hit #1 on the New York Times list. Sixteen of her books are bestsellers hitting the New York Times, USA Today and/or Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. With books translated into more than a dozen different languages she has readers around the world and has twice been nominated for Romance's Writers of America prestigious RITA award. In 2009 she was given a Career Achievement Award from RT Bookclub and was named Historical Storyteller of the year in 2003. In 2008 she was the keynote speaker for the Romance Writers of American annual conference in San Francisco. Victoria credits much of her writing success to her experiences as a reporter.

Her years as a broadcast journalist were spent in two radically different areas of the country: Nebraska and West Virginia. In West Virginia, she covered both natural and manmade disasters. She was on the scene when a power plant construction accident in a small town left 52 men dead. She once spent the night on a mountain waiting to learn of the fate of coal miners trapped in a mine collapse. Victoria was producing a newscast when her husband (who worked at the same television station) and several other journalists were held hostage by a disturbed Vietnam veteran. In Nebraska, she reported on the farm crisis and watched people lose land that had been in their families for generations. She covered the story that was the basis of the movie BOYS DON'T CRY and once acted as the link between police and a gunman who had barricaded himself in his home. Her investigative work exposed the trucking of New York City garbage to a small town dump in rural Nebraska.

During her journalism career, Victoria covered every president from Ford to Clinton. She knows firsthand what it feels like to be surrounded by rising floodwaters and inside a burning building. She's interviewed movie stars including Kevin Costner, ridden an elephant and flown in a governor's helicopter. She's covered a national political convention and Pope John Paul II's historic visit to Denver as well as small town festivals celebrating everything from walnuts to Glen Miller. Her work was honored by numerous organizations including the Associated Press who called a feature about a firefighter's school "story telling genius". It was the encouragement she needed to turn from news to fiction. She's never looked back.

Victoria is a former president of the Omaha Press Club and in 2009 was named an OPC Face on the Barroom Floor. A caricature portrait of her joined previous faces including presidents, sports figures and politicians in a tradition that began in 1971.

Victoria claims her love of romance and journalism is to due to the influence of her favorite comic book character: Lois Lane, a terrific reporter and a great heroine who pursued Superman with an unwavering determination. And why not? He was extremely well drawn.

Victoria grew up traveling the world as an Air Force brat. Today, she lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and her dogs. Victoria had two bearded collies, Sam and Louie (named from characters in one of her books). Sam (on the left), the best dog in the world for 13 ½ years, passed away in September 2010. Louie took on the position of loyal companion and did a fine job even though he doesn't understand that kitchen counter surfing is not allowed! Now he's been joined by Reggie, king of the lilacs.

They all live happily ever after in a house under constant renovation and the accompanying parade of men in tool belts. And never ending chaos. Victoria laughs a great deal--she has to.

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Secrets of a Proper Lady (Last Man Standing, Book 3)
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