by Shannon Donnelly

December 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-7106-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Penelope Harwood is worried. Her father has jumped rashly into several unsuccessful business ventures in the past, which have placed a strain on the family finances. Now, his latest idea seems to center around the dubious value of a mean-spirited stallion that no one can handle. To make matters worse, Lord Nevin, heir to one of the noblemen who fleeced her father, has arrived, hoping to speak with him on a “business matter.” She is determined to keep her father from the clutches of another savvy financial schemer.

The current Lord Nevin, Christopher Dawes, has quite another agenda in mind. Armed with the knowledge that his predecessor damaged the Harwood finances, he hopes to make amends as only a gentleman can - by offering another business partnership. The difference is that Lord Nevin plans to make repayment in the form of new profits, so that pride can be salvaged by all parties. He does not expect to receive such a cold welcome from Miss Harwood. He had hoped that the gossip surrounding his half-Gypsy parentage would have skipped this part of the country. He had hoped that he would be judged by his behavior and strength of character. Obviously, he was wrong.

Thus begins the series of miscommunications and other entanglements that are revealed in Proper Conduct. The book is lively and has several interesting secondary characters, but never seems to reach its full potential. When all is neatly resolved at the end, I was left wondering how they managed to get there at the same time. It is certainly an appropriate book for a younger reader, and would easily entertain you on a rainy afternoon.

Reviewed in April 2003 by Paula.

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