Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Book Review: A Lady’s Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

Man, I needed this book. I love a good historical romance at the best of times, and this time of year, when Boston's weather vacillates between 70 and 17, when glancing at the news can lead to crushing depression, and my natural inclination is to just curl up and hibernate, Duran's newest historical romance was just the diversion I needed.

This is my first time reading Duran, but not the last, as I loved this book. Our romantic leads were wonderfully appealing and the could-have-been-schlocky-but-wasn't plot line exciting and escapist.

Jane can't access her inheritance until she's married, and her vile uncle plans to compromise her reputation so she must marry her cousin. Crispin is an ambitious, ruthless politician who works with Jane's uncle, and he helps extricate Jane from her uncle's trap -- but forces Jane to spy for him.

When Crispin is violently attacked and left for dead, Jane does what she needs to escape her uncle: she has a marriage certificate forged, saying she and Crispin married. It is, she tells herself, a lie that will impact no one but her, as Crispin is expected to die any day. She won't impose on his family, but will simply take her money and escape to America.

Except Crispin miraculously recovers.

The plot seems laughable when badly distilled by me, but I'm telling you, it works and I loved it. Jane is caught because of her lie, made all the worse because Crispin has amnesia, rendering him unable to recall the last five years. All he knows is that he has a guarded wife, a rather unsavory reputation, and a family that expects the worst of him. He tries to make sense of the life he wakes up to, and as the bureaucratic wheels slowly move to release Jane's money, she has to make the best of the marriage she invented.

This over-the-top plot works because Jane and Crispin are both flawed but appealing characters, and they behave normally under these extraordinary circumstances. They both wrestle with the morality/ethics of their behavior and choices, the possibility of redemption, and most delightfully, both get called out on their BS. They have the kind of conversations you wish people doing something dysfunctional would do, and it makes this improbably dramatic plot feel touching and tender. The romance between them unfolds realistically, with a minimal of protests, and I one hundred percent rooted for them as a couple. (The sex was believable, without cringe-worthy phrases or euphemisms, and no shame, hooray!) The secondary characters are charming and fill out the story, and the more outrageous plot elements are deliciously fun.

I inhaled this book in less than two days; it hit every right note for me. If winter (or current events) has you down, pick this book up.

First line: The first sensation was light.

Title: A Lady’s Code of Misconduct
Author: Meredith Duran

Genre: Fiction (Historical / Romance / Victorian / Mid-19th Century / Amnesia / Politics / Conspiracy)
Publisher/Publication Date: Pocket Books (2/28/2017)
Source: The publisher
Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction

*** *** ***


I'm thrilled to offer one set (Reckless Reward!) of three autographed copies in the Rules for the Reckless series: Fool Me Twice, Lady Be Good, and Luck Be A Lady. You can enter on all participating sites (listed below, with a *), but you can only win once. To celebrate the fifth in the series, there will be five Reckless Reward giveaways per day beginning publication day, Tuesday, February 28th – Friday, March 3rd. U.S. only.

To enter, fill out this brief form. Ends March 1.

Blog Tour


Sunday, February 26th

Nikbooklovers Blog

Monday, February 27th

Books for Her

Tuesday, February 28th

*The Romance Dish

*Canadian Book Addict

*Just Another New Blog

*Top 10 Romance Books

*Unabridged Chick

Buried Under Romance

Dear Author

Toot’s Book Reviews – Feature

Il Profumo delle Pergamene

Marvelous Things

My Book Addiction and More

Wednesday, March 1st

*Book Nerd

*Reviews by Crystal

*All About Romance

*Booktalk with Eileen

*We So Nerdy

Roses Are Blue

In the Hammock

Feeding My Addiction Book Reviews – Spotlight

Romance Book Reviews for You

Thursday, March 2nd

*I am, Indeed

*A Midlife Wife

*Literary Gossip

*Undeniably Book Nerdy

*Dew On The Kudzu

Books and Beauty Are My Bag

Ebook Obsessed

Abigail Books Addiction

Dirty Girl Romance - Spotlight

Bookhounds – Q&A

Friday, March 3rd

*Black ‘N Gold Girl’s Book Spot

*JoJo the Bookaholic

*Sportochick’s Musings

*The Reading Wench

*Got Fiction Book Blog

Cup of Tea and Book

The Reading Addict

Nicely Phrased

Ladeetda Reads

Silvatrend8553 Book Blog

Night Owl Reviews – Author Guest Post


Saturday, March 4th

Passionate Encounters

Sunday, March 5th

My Little Book Corner

Monday, March 6th

Reading Frenzy – Spotlight

Bookish - Giveaway

Foreign Circus Library

Poof Books

Tuesday, March 7th

I Love Romance

Bookworm2bookworm – Spotlight, Excerpt, and Review

Dirty and Thirty

Wild Wordy Women

Polished Bookworm

Sammi's Bookish Reality

Passionate Reads

Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh my!

Celtic Lady’s Reviews – Spotlight

Wednesday, March 8th

Moonlight Rendezvous

One More Chapter

Fresh Fiction - Spotlight

Thursday, March 9th

Happy Ever After Romance Book Reviews

The Book Junkie Reads

Three Boys and an Old Lady blog

Friday, March 10th

Smitten by Books

Celtic Guardian


  1. Hi Audra, looks like a good one! It would be great if you added your review to the Books You Loved: March collection over at Carole's Chatter. If you would like to join in the fun please schedule a reminder for the first Wednesday of each month. The collection starts at 7am New Zealand time – which is probably some time Tuesday your time Cheers

  2. Yayyyyy! I missed the giveaway, but I'm thrilled you enjoyed your first Meredith Duran book. She's among my favorite romance authors ever -- I just read a novella of hers and it made me totally happy. Can't wait to read this too!