How to be a Proper Lady
by Katharine Ashe
Jin owes a debt to Alex Savege. Early in his teens Alex rescued Jin from a life as a slave. Jin has finally found the perfect way to repay him. He will find Alex's wife's long lost sister and return her to England. After two years searching, he is positive that the woman who just sunk his ship is exactly who he was looking for.
Viola remembers the day her true father came to England and swept her away from her family. She also remembers the many letters she wrote to her sister to let her know she was safe and happy, with not a single letter in return. After years of no responses, Viola has fully embraced her new life. Her father wanted Viola to stay ashore and become a proper young woman, but Viola was never happier than when she was at sea. Now that her father has passed she is a Captain in her own right.
Every instinct she has tells Viola to leave Jin at port and never set eyes on him again. But he makes a good case for needing more hands on deck and she brings him home. When she finds out that his only goal is to return her to the family that turned their backs on her, she is convinced to send him on his way alone. The more time Jin spends with Viola, the more he wishes he didn't know the truth. As Captain Viola, he could do something about these feelings he is developing for her, but as an English noblewoman, he has to stay as far away as possible from her.
I read the first book in the series and felt like I was missing a ton of information, but since it was the first book, I assumed it would be revealed in this one. It was not, but I did figure out that this series was a spin off of Ms. Ashe's previous series "Rogues of the Seas." Alex Savege was the hero of the second book in that series, which would have provided the necessary backstory for this book. I was so completely frustrated reading this book and not having the previous information.
When I could get myself into the story and ignore everything I didn't know, it was a good story. Jin and Viola are like clashing titans. Both were used to always being in charge and both had to learn how to give up some of the power to be with the other. It was fun to watch the tug and pull. There were a lot of side characters, but most of them weren't completely flushed out. I will say I was happy that I didn't have to read so many of the cliched piratical characters that are always in these books.
Overall, a good book, but I would highly recommend reading the books prior for the background.
“Now that he's found her, all he has to do is give her up.”
July 2012, 384 pages
The Rules of Being a Proper Lady
1) Never take steps greater than six inches apart.
2) Never look boldly at a gentleman.
3) And never, ever, kiss a man who is not your fiance.
But beautiful, bold Viola Carlyle doesn't care about the rules. And she desperately wants to kiss the notoriously tempting Captain Jin Seton, the man who brought her kicking and fighting back to English society. Kidnapped as a child, now she longs to return to that life of freedom where she was able to live—and love—as she wished. Having hunted Viola for two years, Jin Seton has finally found his good luck—for, by finding Viola, his oldest, deepest debt will at last be paid. And although he has vowed not to let her win his heart, this very improper lady might finally be the one who tames him.