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The Rules of Gentility Paperback – July 31, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061229830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061229831
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,372,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The saga of an Austen-era bachelorette puts the lie to Regency delicacy in this fun romantic spoof by Mullany (Dedication). Miss Philomena Wellesley-Clegg distracts herself from her dwindling list of suitors (those still in the running include a wimpy poet and a dandy with a wandering eye) by shopping for bonnets and gossiping with her married best friend. But when her path crosses with Inigo Linsley, her best friend's rascally brother-in-law, Philly warms to him, even if his kisses make her feel very peculiar indeed. When Inigo proposes a sham engagement to ward off her doofy suitors, she agrees—but only until the end of the social season. In turn, Inigo trusts Philly with the secret of his out-of-wedlock son and the friendship of his former lover, an actress. But some ungentlemanly conduct in a carriage sends Philly on the hunt for a more proper man. Mullany's saucy narrator and bubbly tone won't convert many classic Regency fans, but the combination should entice romance readers who'd otherwise sidestep the flurry of petticoats. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

'Mullany is clearly the witty, secret love child of Jane Austen and Lord Byron. How she managed time travel is my only question' -- USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Caskie 'The saga of an Austen-era bachelorette puts the lie to Regency delicacy in this fun romantic spoof' -- Publishers Weekly 'You will find it very difficult to put this book down' -- Janet Aylmer, author of Darcy's Story --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

A long time ago I was born in England but for the past few decades I've lived in the US. I'm not one of those people who dreamed of writing; instead I found a few years ago that I had the happy combination of time on my hands, a use for my troublesome imagination, and a computer. What I did do, in preparation for becoming a writer, was to read. I still love to read although I find I do so now with a niggling editorial eye, and I read very widely.

I fell into writing romance because I liked romance writers and was fascinated by the genre although I seem to have spent much of my time breaking or subverting the rules everyone claims doesn't exist. I chose initially to write historicals for reasons of laziness, having devoured all of Heyer's books as a teenager and with an innate knowledge of Georgian England from having lived there and been something of a history freak (I still am). I've now become one of those writers who does terrible things to Jane Austen.

My dayjobs? Many, weird, varied, including archaeologist, editor/proofreader, classical music radio announcer, box office manager.

What I do the rest of the time? Drink tea, volunteer at a local historic house museum, read, frivol away time on the internet.

Thanks for visiting! My website is www.janetmullany.com and you're invited to drop by and join my mail list. My e-newsletters are infrequent yet dazzling.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
Janet Mullany is a DIK!
Mr.Darcy's Mistress
The writing is engaging, wit abounds, and this book is a great way to spend some time.
Ann Elliot
This novel is a delightful send-up of Regency Romance books.
D. Salvagin La Deetda Reads

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By AK on August 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Philomena Wellesley-Clegg is on the verge of being betrothed to a man she most assuredly does not want to marry when the sinfully handsome Inigo Linsley corners her and proposes an engagement of convenience. They will be secretly betrothed, but not really, thus getting both of their families off their backs, but leaving her free to find another suitor, one she does actually care for and him to find a wealthy, titled heiress. Though she fails to see the logic of his outrageous proposal, she agrees. Neither one counted on arriving at the point where they would want the fake betrothal to be real or that they would feel the need to break it off for the sake of love, but that is only one of the many unexpected things the hapless pair will find taking place in the days to come.

*** Told in a present tense he said/she said fashion, The Rules of Gentility can be somewhat awkward to read at times for stylistic reasons. However, there is a great deal of comedy and even the mildly scandalous aspects are handled with utmost tact and good taste, rendering it a worthwhile read. If you do enjoy Regencies and/or Chick Lit, this is a must read. ***

Amanda Killgore
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bookphile TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim and found it an enjoyable spoof of a regency romance. The author stated that she was shooting for a sort of Bridget Jones's Diary meets Jane Austen and though I didn't enjoy the book as much as Bridget Jones, I did think it was pretty witty and rather entertaining. The author has a nice ear for funny dialog and the characters were likable. Some of them were stock characters but purposely so and the author put them to good comedic and satirical effect.

My only real gripe with the book is perhaps rather more a personal one: I wasn't really buying Inigo as the ideal mate for Philomena. I would have preferred to see her with Tom. I'm not one for the "irresistible bad boy" and though Inigo does ostensibly mend his ways, I still found him a bit too much on the rake side for him to really win me over.

What surprised me most about this book was that there was more emotional depth and maturity to it than I expected. While it isn't exactly a novel of great psychological depth (and that's not necessarily a gripe either as I'm not exactly a huge fan of novels that make you want to go on Prozac once you've finished them), the author has a nice, light touch. The book is a spoof but there are some real instances of human insight and kindness. For that reason, I'd give it three and a half stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Talbot Doty on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fifty-year Georgette Heyer fan, I'm always looking for quality regency romances. This one opened as an annoying disappointment (first person, present tense format) and developed as one of the most delightful. Charming characters had funny flaws and the narrative made me laugh aloud again and again. Perhaps best of all, Mullany managed to tell a really "sexy" story without the boring graphic scene which seems to have become obligatory lately. Her "off color" allusions were beautifully done; although they required that the reader be alert. She has a true gift. (Although I wish she'd use it without the present tense format.....and trying to present the point of view of two characters in first person was more awkward than it needs to be.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Philomena Wellesley-Clegg knows beyond a shadow of the doubt that females are the superior gender in spite of society enabling men to control the wealth. Ergo, the heiress has no option except to accept a betrothal from whatever man she considers the less of all evils. Disreputable Inigo Linsley, who has family pressures to marry, knows how she feels. He offers her a different arrangement so that she can stay free a little longer and he can temporarily prevent his family schemes to matchmake him; his plan is to fake an engagement between them.

Philomena knows the concept is ridiculous, but likes the idea of buying time until she selects her life mate. She agrees to his inane offer. As they fall in love, she wants to select Inigo as her spouse while he tells her the truth about the scandal of having a child out of wedlock because he wants to be her chosen one.

Rotating perspective between the lead couple, THE RULES OF GENTILITY is an amusing Regency Chick Lit romance. Philomena is a fabulous protagonist as her list of losers dwindle and her asides to her best friend are humorous and insightful. Inigo is a typical rake who uses deception to get through the season without a wife. Fans will enjoy their battles as neither anticipated love would lead them to such a mess as both wants the engagement to be real, but cannot admit it because they want to protect their hearts from being broken.

Harriet Klausner
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Margaret on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is loaded with humor...almost non-stop slapstick. I enjoy a good laugh as much as the next person--but it was too much of that and little of anything else. More disappointing was the flat romance between Philomena and Inigo.

This book was not for me...I struggled to finish it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Coffey on December 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Want a frothy romance with a bit of a bite? Try The Rules of Gentility.

It's set in the Jane Austen era, but its randyness is reminiscent of Henry Fielding's, Tom Jones. It's more a spoof than a sequel to the Austen husband-chasing romances.

In it the heroine with the unlikely name of Miss Philomena Wellesley-Clegg does her darndest to find an appropriate husband, meanwhile gazing longingly (and frequently) at the crotch of inappropriate Mr. Inigo Linsley's "pleasingly tight" breeches.

By the half-way point, Mr. Linsley is proposing to Miss Wellesley-Clegg--in the water closet!--but this does not end the matter. Oh, no! Instead, twists and turns abound, as many as in Austen's novels but more outlandish.

The book is fast-paced and funny, shifting as it does between the first-person narratives of the two main characters, a rollicking if unlikely account of love in the Regency era.

Marilyn Coffey is an award-winning writer of poetry and a widely published author of prose. See her writings: Great Plains Patchwork, Marcella, or KANSAS QUARTERLY Vol. 15 No. 2.
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