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The Edge of Impropriety (Signet Eclipse) Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pam Rosenthal is a native New Yorker, but currently lives in San Francisco with her husband. Visit her website at: pamrosenthal.com. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Signet Eclipse
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451233506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451233509
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,294,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are two different romances in this book but they complement each other and don't get in each other's way. One H/H is older, already experienced, and they embark on a torrid (very hot!) affair with no strings. I liked both of them, both smart, not afraid to say what they want, and eager to enjoy each other in a variety of ways. I found this a very refreshing difference from the normal shy but spunky young heroine who needs to be slowly coaxed by our hot hero with a lot of sexual tension until that happens. The second H/H is a younger couple who begin as acquaintances who have good reasons for not seeing the possibilities in the other person, then discovering them. Again, this is pretty straitforward without a lot of the dramatics that often accompany a romance novel. I also like both those characters. There are some other characters, as well as some tension (fatal accident, blackmail), but those are integrated nicely in the story and are not just filler but serve the overall plot. There are a few bits of humor. I'd definitely recommend this for someone looking for something different than the normal romance novel tropes.
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By MP on November 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is romance for the literate reader. Rosenthal is an adult writer for adult readers. No "it-made-me-weak-in-my-girl-parts" euphemisms or weak resolutions. In the world that these characters inhabit (as in our own), sex is power: challenging, frustrating, duplicitous, vulnerable, arrogant. Rosenthal succeeds where so many others fear (or are unable) to tread, in that she writes passionately and with conviction about human intimacy, and especially how women ply it. The steamy sex scenes are intense without ever sagging into cliche. Every act in the bedroom reveals another nuance of a character's personality or motives. The historical background is well-researched and touches on timeless philosophical issues of empire building, nationalism, and the worlds of art and commerce (and where those worlds intersect). An edifying delight.
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Format: Paperback
When we first meet Jasper Hedges, scholar and antiquarian, he is visiting with his brother John and his wife Celia. Jasper had an affair with Celia fifteen years ago, and asked her to run away with him but she didn't. Her son, the new heir, is really his son. John and Celia sail to an evening party, and both die in a sudden storm. Now Jasper is the guardian of their two children.

Marina, Countess of Gorham, widowed second wife of questionable origins, writes popular romance novels to make ends meet. She's thought to be the lover of the much younger Sir Anthony Hedges, Jasper's nephew/son, but they've decided they make better friends than lovers. They plan to maintain the illusion to help boost sales of her upcoming book release.

Marina sees Jasper at the museum and is drawn to him, and then he comes to a dinner party in her home. Not knowing that the man she saw in the museum is Anthony's uncle, she expects him to be a musty, doddering old man, and is surprised to see such strong shoulders, such virility nearly hidden under his worn and rumpled clothing. They feel an unusual spark of attraction, despite coming from completely different worlds. He returns to her home later that evening, after the dinner party, and is unsure if he read her signals correctly. They make love and agree to have an affair for the season, but they will keep it private and will keep their personal lives to themselves. It's fascinating to see how this separation and supposed lack of intimacy affects their relationship throughout the book.

I was moved by how stoic Jasper is, and what a calm and endearing character he is. It's easy to see how Marina is drawn to him.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Marina, an author, spends an afternoon in the antiquities division of the venerable British Museum observing people as an inspiration for her craft. It is there she first notices Jasper, a middle-aged scholarly gentleman who she imagines to be father of the young girl in his company. She speculates he might be a clergyman or something of that nature, as he is unfashionably dressed and slightly shabby. She then notices the girl's hair ribbon has come undone and has the unaccountable urge to fix it. Before her eyes, the man notices and ties the bow. "the bow he made was merely serviceable but his gesture was so quick so sure and practiced, plain and entirely to be taken for granted by a girl lucky enough to feel herself so cherished that his daughter might not have been quite aware of it. Marina felt herself go short of breath."

Some reviewers have criticized `telling versus showing' and/or `lack of dialogue'. Whether this is showing or telling, I'm not sure and it certainly doesn't involve anything so mundane as dialogue, but to me this is incredibly talented writing. When an author can so describe a scene that you can visualize it vividly and feel the emotions, I am impressed and captivated. With that sentence, I saw the man and understood that, whoever he was, he adored and nurtured this girl - and I liked him for it. It piqued my curiosity to discover more of their story, and I loved the way this author proceeded to unfold the plot and characterizations.

In point of fact, I totally enjoyed this entire book and simply luxuriated in the beautifully graphic word pictures Pam Rosenthal conjured. I am not a friend of the author and have received no advance copies, nor am I a professional reviewer - just an ordinary customer and I thought this book was lovely.
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