Review of LADY FIASCO by Kathleen Baldwin (see her website)
Zebra Regency Romance, September 2004
Her season had been a disaster. Lady Fiona Hawthorn didn't mean to hurt anyone or destroy anything but wherever she was, things just happened. She hadn't intended to injure the poor soldier before he could get back to fighting Napoleon, and she certainly didn't mean to cause accidents at the booksellers. But she seemed cursed--and had resigned herself to being pushed out of society and put on the shelf early. Even when her childhood crush, Tyrell, Lord Wesmont sought her out at a ball, the simple waltz ended in disaster--with his military medals entangled in her gown.
When her aunt arrives unexpectedly and invites Fiona to become her ward and protege, Fiona grabs the opportunity, especially since it will take her away from Tyrell--the man who had kissed her without mercy and then told her that he wouldn't consider her for marriage. Aunt Honore was a society star--but a woman with a dangerous reputation. But anything was better than staying with her stepmother while all society shunned her. It seemed simple enough--except that Tyrell couldn't leave things alone. He hadn't gotten enough of Fiona and intended to explore the strange feelings that she created within him--whether she wanted it or not.
Under Honore's supervision, Fiona becomes a society attraction--her fiascos please the prince and make her sought after by society. But a hidden danger threatens both Fiona and Honore--and even Tyrell might be helpless to prevent disaster. And when Honore offers Tyrell a perfectly dishonorable bargain, he doesn't know which way to turn.
In her first novel, author Kathleen Baldwin combines the style of Regency England, a comedy of manners, and just the hint of adventure to deliver a charming tale. Damaged by his service in the wars against Napoleon, Tyrell fights against Fiona's enemies--and his growing attraction toward the woman despite his decision not to marry. He's destined to lose at least one of those battles--but getting there is a pleasure.
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