Shameless by Karen Robards (Banning Sisters #3)
February 15, 2011
Paperback, 359 Pages
Reviewed by Mandi
Lady Elizabeth, or Beth can’t quite make it down the aisle. She has had numerous engagements and has broken them all. Her reputation with the ton is hanging on by a thread. Beth is going to have much more worries than just her reputation though. By chance she meets Neil Severin, who sneaks into her family’s house to kill her brother in-law, The Duke of Richmond. Neil is a spy, and needs the Duke dead. When Beth inadvertently thwarts his plan, Neil comes up with an even better plan – kidnap Beth, which will certainty bring the Duke to him, and then the deed can be done.
But things go awry when someone else kidnap’s Beth – and Neil rushes off to claim his blackmail. From here it is quite the adventure between finding their way back to London and falling in love along the way.
Shameless is the first I have read by Karen Robards, but it happens to be the third in a trilogy. I think historicals with a spy hero can be tricky to pull off, but this one does a pretty good job of it. Because of his spy situation he becomes engaged in a conflict with the heroine- and then that conflict carries the story. Neil is a cold hearted hero, and Beth is very stubborn and independent. It is a nice pairing. Although Beth flirts and has been engaged numerous times, she is really naïve when it comes to romance. Neil is not used to being attracted to someone so much, so their romance scenes become a very sensual exploration. It takes a good while to get to there, but Karen Robards writes very hot scenes.
This book has a lot of adventure too. Poor Beth goes from being assaulted by an angry ex-fiancé, to kidnapping, being sold into sex slavery, and then an entire adventure to get back to London with Neil. Sometimes I questioned Beth’s bravado while handling these situations and Neil himself – having only lived a sheltered life in London. However, there is a scene in particular where she thinks she will be sold to the highest bidder for sexual favors where her terror really comes through. She accepts Neil pretty easily, but at the same time, he did rescue her so I went back and forth a lot.
Overall I liked this one – maybe a little too many mishaps along the way – but it has a nice colder hero and a heroine who pairs up with him nicely.