A Man Above Reproach

Written by Evelyn Price
Review by Ray Thompson

Winner of an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the Romance category, this romance set in London in the 1830s pairs up a wealthy (and scholarly) duke who scorns the frivolous society ladies with a mysterious young woman who holds radical feminist ideas and several secrets. Not only does she play the piano in a bordello catering to aristocrats, but she owns a bookshop and even that may not be her real identity. Their physical attraction is palpable from the start, but they have obstacles to overcome, doubts to conquer, and lessons to learn before they can find happiness together.

Despite interesting potential and some enjoyable dialogue, this is an uneasy amalgamation of Regency romance and social criticism: the steamy passions of the former jar with the condemnation of the treatment of women at all levels of society in the latter, and this problem is reflected in the rather contrived resolution to the plot. It will appeal mainly to lovers of sentimental romance who are willing to overlook somewhat anachronistic elements.