A Lady Never Lies by Juliana Gray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I came across this title on a list of best romance novels of 2012 (and have since then seen it on a second list), and it sounded interesting, so I put it on hold and forgot about it. Once it arrived, I discovered it's the first in a trilogy that has a slight paranormal/magical overtone--i.e. there is some sort of mysterious curse on the Italian castle the main characters rent for the year. I am hoping the author lets us in on exactly what this curse is in later books, because she doesn't say much in this one.
I enjoyed reading this story over my Christmas vacation week, but I can't say that I would have put it on any Top Books of 2012 list. It's good; it's not outstanding.
The premise of this series is that in 1890, three British ladies in financial distress (and who've fled one's abusive husband) discover they have rented the same decrepit castle in Italy as three British gentlemen who have pledged to swear off women for the year. The focus of book one is Lady Morely, a young widow, and Mr. Phineas Burke, wealthy inventor who is working on designing an electric motorcar. Despite betting that whoever succumbs to temptation/seduction must leave the castle permanently, electricity is in the air. Literally. Alexandra decides to help Finn with his automobile to see if she can glean any information that might revive her fortune which was unwisely invested for her in a failing motorworks company.
For readers' advisors: story and character doorways. Some fairly explicit sex scenes. Mild swearing (i.e. such as "...the damned tea...").
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