Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kathryne Kennedy - My Unfair Lady

High-spirited Summer Lee Wine has but one wish, to marry the man she loves, a man who belongs to the upper class of New York. Although she is rich, his family does not approve of her. Born and raised in a frontier town, Summer has no clue about the rules and etiquette of New York’s upper class society. To win his family over she has travelled all the way to England to become a real lady and to get herself presented to the Queen of England. To help her become a proper lady she has enlisted the help of a real duke and the more time they spend together the more Summer realizes that her heart is no longer loyal to the man she left behind in New York…

The impoverished Duke of Monchester is well known for his cutting remarks and despises rich American title hunters. He cannot afford to refuse the deal Summer has offered. Besides, it will be quite a challenge to turn this savage girl into a proper lady for her American fiancé. She is unlike any woman he has ever met and is fascinated by her. For the first time in ages he is having a good time and he actually discovers that he likes her unladylike behavior. He does not want her to change for she is simply irresistible just the way she is…

The first thing that came to mind when I read the title and the blurb of My Unfair Lady was the movie My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn, in which Eliza Doolittle, a simple flower girl, takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins so that she can pass as a lady. As I was already familiar with Kathryne Kennedy’s work, she also writes the fabulous Relics of Merlin Series, I was eager to read My Unfair Lady.

Set against a Victorian England background the story is set in motion with a rather unusual, but witty meeting between the high-spirited Summer Wine Lee and the haughty Duke of Monchester. It was clear from the start that this was going to be a sparkling and emotional read, full of hilarious and funny moments but most of all a bit different than the average historical romance story. It did not take me long to be totally absorbed in My Unfair Lady.

Summer is raised in a little frontier town, she is bold, outspoken, wild and passionate about everything she does. She takes in every critter in need, therefore her party consist, amongst others, of a Chihuahua and later on in the story also a monkey and a fox. She wants to change into this proper lady for her fiancé, but she has no clue how to behave accordingly. In society she is clumsy, she has several hilarious Bridget-Jones-moments, she acts before thinking and has a twangy accent. She has no style for fashion, the only thing she has going for her is her graceful walk.

The Duke of Monchester, Byron, is a handsome, bossy and arrogant man. He wields his tongue like a sword. Thanks to his father, who left him nothing but a title and two estates in desperate need of funds, his livelihood now depends on entertaining his close friend, the Prince of Wales, with gossip about the ton. His family has money but does nothing to help him; they display a phony affection for him.

Although there are several other colorful characters, which all fulfill their part, this story really is character-driven. Two people, who at the surface have nothing in common with each other, are brought together by circumstances. Both Summer as Byron need to reconnect with themselves. Byron has changed from a warm and caring person into this cold, heartless man. Occasionally Summer manages to break through the thick wall he has built around himself and then the old Byron surfaces for a while. She makes him realize that he doesn’t like the person he has become and he wants a better life, a different one. As for Summer, she pretends she wants to change for her fiancé, but she really can’t forgive herself for something that she has done in the past and therefore wants to change. Byron tries to help her to accept and love herself for who she is.

They really are a perfect match and in many ways they are more alike than shows at first sight. Like their love for critters. With every faux pas that Summer makes, Byron makes it right. Their attraction is instant; it shimmers and grows with every page. They fall in love with each other without realizing it. The love scenes are bold and passionate, their interactions sparkling. Of course they encounter many roadblocks, both together as apart. But throughout the book they grow into better and whole persons.

The romance and turning-Summer-into-a-proper-lady plotline is interlaced with a little suspense. Someone is after Byron’s life and for once it is not the heroine who is in trouble but the hero, and of course Summer comes to his rescue. But it doesn’t make Byron a wimp, he really is a strong character and my fear that Summer’s character would overshadow Byron’s was unfounded. They both are strong and very likeable. The end of the story is very emotional, heart-wrenching but also perfect!

With My Unfair Lady Kathryne Kennedy delivered another beautiful, sparkling and emotional story with unconventional, but lovely and lively characters. Her writing is smooth, addictive and fast-paced; she has the gift to make a story come to live in your mind’s eye. Her books are unique and in a league of their own, I am already craving for her next story!

4 stars


  1. Sounds great, and I would sure like to read about those Bridget moments.

  2. Marissa we must be twins, on my feed I immediately thought of the movie My Fair Lady when I saw your title. Great Review!

    Side note, how cute is your cat Tijger!

  3. I have a feeling that I'm going to be thanking you for introducing me to this author after I read this book!

  4. I read an interview with the author and between that and this review, this book is on my WANT list. Nice review!

  5. Wonderful review, Marissa :D. I agree with your final closing thoughts regarding Kathryne Kennedy's writing. And I too feel that craving for her next book. I just know I'm going to get something well written, and laced with that bit of magic she has!

    Doesn't her next series sound wonderful? The Elven Lords!

  6. You know how I felt about this one...we are just not going to agree- LOL :)

  7. @ blodeuedd I liked that she was clumsy and not perfect!

    @smokinhotbooks I always thought I missed my other half LOL...

    @A Buckeye Girl Reads I liked it a lot but I like her Relic of Merlin Series even better!

    @Patti I hope you like it!

    @Amy C The new series sounds wonderful, I hope we get to read it soon!

    @Mandi We agree to disagree LOL...

  8. Thanks for the wonderful review! I like unconventional characters combined with smooth and addictive writing, so this sounds good!

  9. Sounds wonderful!
    I can really appreciate books like that cuz I'm so clumsy myself. The story sounds nice.
    Thanks for the review hon!

  10. Still have this one on the wishlist, but not quite sure if I'm buying it, with sooo many books on the shelves and still to read, I think I prefer to read her Relics of Merlin Series before buying more of her books :D (Yes, I am slowly learning to control the -out-of-control- bookbuying addict...small steps, small steps LOL )