Lady Be Good, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

>> Wednesday, July 30, 2003

More rereading: Lady Be Good, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips this time.

Lady Emma Wells-Finch, the oh-so-proper headmistressof England's St. Gertrude's School for Girls, is a woman on a mission -- she has two weeks to lose her reputation. Arriving in Texas with skirts flying, umbrella pointing, and beautiful mouth issuing orders, she knows only one thing will save her from losing everything she holds dear: complete and utter disgrace!

World-famous playboy-athlete Kenny Traveler has kickedup his boot heels one too many times, and now he's suspended from the sport he loves. Only one thing will restore his career:complete and utter respectability! Unfortunately, he's been blackmailed into chauffeuring bossy, single-minded Lady Emma, and she's hell-bent on visiting honkytonks,chasing down tattoo parlors, and worse.. lots worse.

When a gorgeous man who can't afford another scandal meets a hardheaded woman who's determined to cause one, anything can happen. But love? Oh, dear. That's impossible.That's outrageous. That's... inevitable!
This one was just ok the first time I read it, so I'm thinking that maybe I've grown into SEP, because I just loved Lady Be Good. An A. I think I'm going to have to reread Nobody's Baby But Mine next, to see if I "get" that one too this time around.

This was a blast. It was just hilarious, a real romp. Some of Emma's "adventures" were a bit dumb, but what can I say, I enjoyed them tremendously. Plus, it was funny and sexy, the best combination possible.

I loved Kenny. He was wonderful, a guy who was really charming as a façade to cover some real hurts. It was interesting to see his backstory, he really was a little rotter as a kid! I thought the way his relationship with his father developed during the book was very poignant and sweet. They don't fix everything, but it certainly seems like everything's going to be all right with them.

As for Emma, he was a little cartoon-ish at first (the 30-year-old, virgin, British headmistress, "brolly" at the ready), but soon came into her own. She and Kenny together were so good! I loved how she defended him against everyone, doing what he refused to do himself. These two were a seemingly mismatched couple that really worked.

I also enjoyed the big cast of secondary characters... Kenny's father and his young wife; his sister Torie; his housekeeper, Patrick; Torie's intended, Dexter, Ted, son of Dallie and Francesca, from Fancy Pants, the evil Duke of Beddington... just every character was well-drawn and realistic.

The secondary story was nice, even though it had a "taming of the shrew" element that isn't usually to my taste. It was ok in this case, though, because Torie got a kick out of it, so it didn't really feel like Dexter was walking all over her.

What I wasn't too convinced about was the "daddy knows best" thing. Both Dallie and Warren abused their positions to make Kenny and Torie make changes in their lives. Yes, all this turned out to be for the best, but even so, I was uncomfortable with the message that these people needed to be manipulated into taking control of their lives.It's difficult to really express what it was that bothered me... mostly a "just who the hell do you think you are to..." reflex on my part.

Anyway, just wonderful. I'm so glad I didn't trade this one!

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