Lady Be Good

Written by Meredith Duran
Review by India Edghill

Kit Stratton, Viscount Palmer, is a war hero and eligible society bachelor in late Victorian England. Lilah Marshall is an Everleigh Girl, an auction-house hostess paid to charm potential buyers. She’s been educated above her criminal station, like her literary ancestor Moll Flanders, but her Uncle Nick blackmails her into returning temporarily to her old thieving ways. Lilah and Kit’s first meeting contains the requisite instant physical attraction, but they have other things in common too, despite their class differences: both are grieving the death of a much-loved sibling, and both harbour guilty secrets from their pasts.

This novel’s intriguing premise, good writing, and solid historical detail should have engaged me more than it did. Ultimately, I found Kit and Lilah two-dimensional and cliché, and their chemistry seemed forced. I also tired of the many reminders of Kit’s “leonine” attractiveness. Secondary characters Catherine and Nick steal the limelight, and I kept wishing they were the protagonists. Happily, it turns out they are the protagonists of Duran’s next book in the series, Luck Be a Lady. If the purpose of Lady Be Good was to whet the reader’s appetite for the next installment, it worked for me.