A Lady’s Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran
Genre: Historical Romance
A Lady’s Code of Misconduct is the fifth book in Meredith Duran’s “Rules for the Reckless” series, though you don’t need to read the whole series to enjoy each book. The basic premise is that an heiress, Jane, is being kept cloistered at her uncle’s home in the countryside so he can make free use of her fortune with no worries about her getting married (to anyone besides his son, that is). Ruthless MP Crispin Burke, a friend of her uncle’s and generally unlikable guy, tries to help her out of her predicament, but soon ends up being attacked and losing five years of his memories. Jane’s and Crispin’s relationship develops from there in an unorthodox way, and they do, of course, live happily ever after. It is, after all, a romance.
Overall, I liked this book. I liked the characters’ initial dislike of each other and that even early on Crispin showed signs of being a decent human underneath it all. Still, I didn’t like how completely his personality changed while he had amnesia. I didn’t like that Jane lied to him for so long, even when there were obvious opportunities to come clean. I also really didn’t like the ending. The castle was a weird thing that just wasn’t believable (and if this was based on something real, my apologies to the author).
I would have preferred to see more interactions between Jane and Crispin before he was attacked, but I can see why that wasn’t the author’s focus. I thought their relationship developed nicely and at a reasonable pace, though I didn’t like that both characters treated Crispin as two different people (before amnesia and now). It was a little strange and I’m not sure it was all that necessary.
Despite its shortcomings, though, I’d recommend this if you enjoy light historical romances. I’ve enjoyed reading Meredith Duran’s novels, even if they do have some shortcomings for me. They’re a great break between heavier reads and this book in particular had enough in it (both romance and subplot) to keep me interested. I gave it three stars.
*ARC from Pocket Books via NetGalley