by Jo Beverley

July 2002
ISBN: 0451206444
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

Fans of Jo Beverley have waited for a long time for this reprint that was first published by Avon Books in 1993. With a new publisher and a newly designed white book cover, let's look into the first book in the Malloren series, My Lady Notorious.

Cyn Malloren, the youngest son of the Mallorens, is a captain in the army. He has been sick and taken home to his eldest brother, Rothgar Malloren, and nursed back to health. When he is well enough, he goes off visiting his elder sister and her new baby. On his carriage ride back home, two highwaymen disguised by the Ware sisters, Verity and Chastity Ware, rob him, and take his carriage including himself. Cyn has always loved adventures and he prefers to be kidnapped rather than go home. He soon notices the unwed sister, Chastity, is a female and tries all his charms and tricks to tease her anyway he desires.

Lady Chastity Ware has been banished to live in the cottage with her old nurse after her reputation is ruined. Her father punishes her by shaving all her hair and leaves her penniless. When her widowed sister, Verity Vernham, comes with her baby (William) to seek help, she decides to rob and steal a carriage to deliver Verity to her childhood sweetheart, Major Nathaniel Frazer. Meeting Cyn changes her life and pushes her forward to face a new future that she never foresees.

The story unfolds and discloses every reason and incidents that happened between the Wares, Vernhams and Mallorens, then moves forward with dangerous intervals with humour and pain blended into the plots. The last part of the story turns dramatic when Rothgar helps in restoring Chastity's reputation in society. An unbelievable drama that surely makes you look forward to reading Tempting Fortune, the next in line to the Malloren series which will be reissued in December 2002.

My Lady Notorious was both a winner in RITA and Golden Leaf Award in 1993. Absolutely a great read and definitely a keeper!

Reviewed in August 2002 by Rose.

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