Quickie Review: Guarding a Notorious Lady by Olivia Parker

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pub Date: June 2011
Publisher: Avon
Length: 372 pages
FTC: Library book sale

It's been a long while since I've read an Avon historical romance. To be honest, I've become a little bitter about the homogeneity of that publisher's offerings. They seem to be a bit like the Borg in that every author who joins them starts to sound exactly like all of the others. Avon has a strong brand and style, which can be helpful for debut and midlist authors, but it comes at a cost of strong authorial voice.   And while I enjoyed Guarding a Notorious Lady by Olivia Parker, I wish it had a more of the pizzazz I found in Parker's debut novel, The Bride Hunt Ball.

The only thing that sets this book apart is the humor. Although not as funny as the author's previous book, there is still a bunch of situational humor here. The main characters are interesting, even if the conflict seems a bit thin. And while the main characters are believably drawn, the secondary characters are little more than names on a page.

I wanted more emotion, more real danger earlier in the book, more of everything. Despite the caper-ish nature of the novel, it's a very passive book. Things happen to the heroine, but she doesn't really DO much. Unfortunately, this is a fun, but forgettable book. 

My Grade: C+

The Blurb:

Exquisite trouble . . .
A woman of pristine breeding, Lady Rosalind Devine is also an unrepentant meddler and snoop—which is why her brother refuses to leave her to her own devices while on his wedding trip. But Rosalind will not make things easy for any unseen,unwanted “nursemaid”—and vows to use her considerable wiles to expose her mystery guardian.
Nicholas Kincaid, the Marquess of Winterbourne, agreed to secretly guard his friend’s spoiled, stubborn sister, though her infuriating penchant for mischief is causing him to question his decision. Though bound by the rules of society—and friendship—Rosalind’s spirit and sensuality have sparked a fierce desire in Nicholas to play a very different role in her life,one that entails passion, ecstasy . . .and unavoidable scandal.

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