A Lady's Code of Misconduct

Meredith Duran
A Lady's Code of Misconduct
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Pocket Books
Release Date
February 2017
Book 5 of Rules for the Reckless
Historical Romance


Trapped in the countryside, facing an unwanted marriage and the theft of her fortune, Jane Mason is done behaving nicely. To win her freedom, she'll strike a deal with the most dangerous man she knows—a rising star in politics, whose dark good looks mask an even darker heart.


The bitter past has taught Crispin Burke to trust no one. He'll gladly help a lovely young heiress, provided she pays a price. Yet when a single mistake shatters his life, it is Jane who holds the key to his salvation. And in a world that no longer makes sense, Crispin slowly realizes that she may be the only thing worth fighting for...

Book Review by Administrator (author,reviewer)
Mar 08, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
110 people found the following review helpful
Reviewed by nlippolis at Reading Alley:

This novel was a good read. I enjoyed the characters and the plot, which includes romance, deceit, and some mystery. People can change if they want to and can be inspired by others.

Crispin Burke is the second son of a viscount. He is a powerful man and is very ambitious. He has plans to become Prime Minister. He has made many deals with members of Parliament through devious intentions.

Jane Mason is a wealthy heiress. With her parents dead, her uncle prevents her from marriage and seeing London to keep using her money that he felt her father owed him. He plans on marrying Jane to his son so her can use her money and pay his debts. Jane tries to escape but her uncle knows and is prepared for it. She gets "advice" from Crispin when he finds her. However, he wants something in return.

Crispin is attacked and badly hurt. The doctors said he would not survive. Jane uses a forged special license to marry Crispin, believing he is dying. However, Crispin survives but does not remember the last 5 years. Jane tells him she is his wife to keep up the ruse. They keep Crispin's memory loss a secret. He needs Jane's help since she has a political mind, like him. Jane though, tells him it is a marriage of convenience, but Cripsin has his doubts since he is attracted to her.

As Crispin's memories begin to return, will Jane have the courage to tell him the truth and how will Crispin react to the truth? Will they be able to discover the reason to why Crispin was attacked? Read and discover the answers!
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Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Jan 20, 2018
59 people found the following review helpful
The marvellous Meredith Duran—whether the plot is something you like or not—always weaves something so well-written that it leaves you breathless with her poetic prose and her sharp insights into human nature. That much is axiomatic and if the rating seems contrary to this, it's only because I couldn't buy into the romance and the circumstances under which Jane Mason and Crispin Burke were brought together.

Still, I had to stop from time to time in admiration of how Duran writes.

In fact, the first pages were brilliantly absorbing. I loved Jane's steely will, the quest for independence and the plotting that provided her the opening that allowed her to escape the oppressive thumb of her uncle, all pitted against the cunning and cold manipulations of Crispin Burke. But after Crispin's amnesia, I'd initially thought her actions showed a desperate woman trying to take flight; after that however, I thought they made her a hypocrite. That deception carried and drove this romance all along wasn't something I liked at all (and which was something that Jane let go of in small doses).

The romance between Jane and Cripsin—the hard, unyielding man—before the accident was what I wanted to read, and not the man who suddenly seemed to ‘turn good', as was the (rather unbelievable) implication that the knock on the head could be so strong as to be personality altering. That Jane wanted to separate the Crispin before and the Crispin after his amnesia never sat well with me, and this was only addressed towards the very end only, which I thought could have been acknowledged way earlier—that this was the same man still, an anti-hero, the schemer that was equally deserving of a HEA and whose machinations were precisely what she wanted while never admitting she needed that part of his personality for her own ends.

That said, Duran hasn't stopped being my gold standard for 21st century historicals. If I don't read enough of her works, that's just all on me.
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