Unlacing the Innocent Miss by Margaret McPhee

Unlacing the Innocent Miss
ISBN 0373296169
  • Author:
    Margaret McPhee
  • Title:
    Unlacing the Innocent Miss
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  • Publisher:
    Harlequin Historical; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
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Hardened thief-taker "Wolf" Wolversley has clawed his way out of the gutter to get where he is. No stranger to society's underbelly, he's met Rosalind Meadowfield's seemingly sweet type before.Accused of a crime she didn't commit, fearful Rosalind begs Wolf not to turn her in. But Rosalind's fear soon turns to desire as the bitterness in Wolf's eyes turns to passion…. His touch is gentle for so fierce a man. Rosalind should be mortified by her wantonness. Instead, it's as if something else has taken over her body….

I recently ordered a book from another seller, who offered the minimal price. Since the book is one in a series, I really wanted to read it for continuity of the saga. The other seller dropped the ball, so I reordered it from Sierra Nevada ... They came through like champs, delivering the book within a week; and allowing me to continue the tale uninterrupted. Whenever I've ordered books from Sierra Nevada Books they have been delivered well before the last date for delivery - most often within a week. And they've always provided books in very good condition or better, as advertised.
Old stories written by dead authors, new stories written by authors still alive, can be just as good to read today as they were when written. Reading about Regency England is my favorite time period to enjoy. I picked this story because the author's style of storytelling matches my reading interest level. A light hearted story to help pass away the blues.
Love this author. Pkg arrived in a timely manner,
I was hooked on the "Silk and Scandal" series. I've got into the whole saga about the gypsy Stephano with the silk corded nooses, who is wreaking vengeance on the families involved with the murder of his father. Each book is meant to be an individual book, but I would advise you read them in order so you get a sense of the building story.

As for Wolf and Rosalind...you know how it's going to end...the plot is predictable. But I liked Wolf who was rather gorgeous, even if his dislike of Rosalind was illogical. After all, she was obviously down on her luck, and certainly not an established member of the ton who he hates with a passion. We also get another glimpse of Stefano who for all his diabolical plotting shows his soft side, I can't wait to see who ends up bringing him down...which female will it be.

I strongly recommend this book if you are following the "Silk and Scandal" series. Otherwise... it was so so.
Impala Frozen
Very good condition.
It was not my favorite in the series, but still a good read. I would recommend reading the entire series.
This reasonably enjoyable regency romance is the chronologically sixth in a series of eight books by six different authors which share common characters and a common background, and which follows on from a terrible tragedy and scandal which had taken place two decades before ...

You will understand this book better if you have first read the first two books in the series, "The Lord and the Wayward Lady" and "Paying the Virgin's price" in which the heroine and hero respectively are the sister and brother of the heroine of this one. It doesn't really matter, however, whether you have read books three to five before you tackle this one.

Once apon a time three young men of noble birth had been friends and colleagues, working for a government department. But then one of them had been murdered, and a second accused of the crime - and not just hanged for it, but attainted, so that his wife and young children lost everything.

Twenty years later the scandal resurfaces, dragging in the surviving member of the original trio and the children of all three of them. But it is far from obvious who is who ...

The "Innocent Miss" of the title of this book is a lady's companion who calls herself Rosalind Meadowfield. Like the central characters of the previous books in this series, she finds her life turned upside down when the scandal from 20 years resurfaces in the form of a silken rope such as would be used to hang a nobleman - a reference to the execution of her father.

In Rosalind's case this is even more devastating than it had been for her lost sister and brother in earlier books in the series: in the prologue to this book, set in May 1815, a silken rope is planted in her things along with stolen jewels in order to make it appear that she has been stealing from her employer.

Her protestations of innocence not being believed, Rosalind flees to Scotland, but a thief-taker known as "Wolf" - the former Lieutenant Will Wolversley of the 26th regiment of foot - is soon on her trail.

Wolf, the bastard son of a woman who had been ruined by a faithless nobleman, despises the nobility and gentry after what they had done to his mother. At first he views Rosalind Meadowfield, the woman he has been sent to capture, as exactly the kind of spoilt and amoral upper class lady he most detests. It will be a pleasant duty, he assumes, to bring her back to face justice. Until the doubts begin to surface: could the "Innocent Miss" actually be really innocent after all?

Like most of the previous books in this series, the story is not tremendously plausible - although I have read worse - and it doesn't have the wealth of period detail about the world of the haut ton which the best regency writers such as Georgette Heyer or Marion Chesney (also known as M.C. Beaton) build into their books. There are some good touches and also some rather disappointing ones.

The worst lapse in the historical accuracy of the book, though not the only one, is that when Rosaline finds that Wolf used to be an officer in a British regiment, "With England still at war with Napoleon, she wondered why Wolf was no longer within the army."

The likely answer to that question is so obvious that nobody would have asked it in those terms and no novelist with more than the most superficial knowledge of the history of the Regency period should have written such a line into a book. Britain was BACK at war with Napoleon in May 1815, not STILL at war with him. The war with France had appeared to be finished and won more than a year before this book starts, with Napoleon's abdication on 6th April 1814 and his exile to the island of Elba. The treaty which ended the War of 1812 betweeen Britain and the USA was signed in December 1814. During the following period of peace, thousands of officers and men left the British army, and Wolf could easily have been one of them.

This book is set at the time of the the final war with Napoleon, known popularly as the "Hundred days" and to historians as the "War of the seventh coalition" which began in March 1815 after Bonaparte's return from Elba and concluded with his second abdication after being defeated at Waterloo in July 1815.

The other main problem with the historical accuracy of this book is that, as another reviewer has pointed out, Wolf's initial detestation of Rosalind seems a bit overdone, since her position as a lady's companion would usually indicate a person who despite some noble or gentry blood was a "poor relation" or one who had come a rung or two down in the world rather than a pampered rich girl who had had it easy her entire life. A man in Wolfe's position would be well aware that if Rosalind had no experience of loss or financial difficulty she would be employing a companion rather than being employed as one.

Like "The Lord and the Wayward Lady" this is somewhere between a good three star book and the bottom end of four stars. It just scrapes the fourth one despite the flaws in historical accuracy because I liked the characters.

If you like light regency romances with a touch of the cloak and dagger about them, you will probably enjoy this book and the "Regency Silk and Scandals" series, which consists of:

1) "The Lord and the Wayward Lady (Regency Silk & Scandals)" by Louise Allen

2) "Paying the Virgin's Price (Mills & Boon Regency Silk & Scandals)" by Christine Merrill

3) "The Smuggler and the Society Bride (Mills & Boon - Regency Silk & Scandals)" by Julia Justiss

4) "Claiming The Forbidden Bride (MB Continuities)" by Gayle Wilson

5) "The Viscount and the Virgin (Mira (Direct))" by Annie Burrows

6) This book, "Unlacing the Innocent Miss" by Margaret McPhee

7) "The Officer and the Proper Lady (Regency Silk & Scandal) (MB Continuities)" by Louise Allen

8) "Taken by the Wicked Rake (Mills & Boon - Regency Silk & Scandals) (MB Continuities)" by Christine Merrill.