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Lady Elizabeth Banning has vowed to never be owned by a man. Being treated poorly by her father, she will never allow anyone else such power over her. Yet she is trying to find the right man she can marry, unfortunately though she just can't seem to make up her mind. After ending three engagements, Beth's reputation is in tatters.

Neil Severin is just trying to stay alive, but to do so, he is going to have to kill the man responsible for putting a price on his head. When the lovely Beth blows his plans out of the water, he is quick to think of a way to use her to his advantage. Yet it seems that someone else may have their own plan for the delectable miss.

Soon Beth and Neil are working together to save their lives, yet there is so much between them. Can Beth talk Neil out of killing her loved one?


I'm happy that Karen Robards has returned to her historical roots. While I enjoy her romantic suspense novels, I first discovered her through her historical romances. SHAMELESS isn't quite up there with some of her older titles, but that is mainly due to the fact that I had some issues with Beth's character, not with the writing.

I enjoyed following Beth and Neil around on their adventure throughout the countryside, and I liked their chemistry. What I didn't like was Beth's tendency to run hot then cold, it got really annoying, especially when they returned to town. It was like Beth's character completely changed, I had liked her up until then, but all of a sudden all I could think was that she'd turned into a shrew, and her actions became stupid. I understood that she had control issues, but she just became illogical with her treatment of Neil.

I didn't have any issues with Neil. Sure he did some unsavory things, and was planning to kill one of Beth's loved ones, but I always knew where he stood. There was no misunderstanding him or his actions. Sure he lied to Beth, but I never got the feeling that he meant to harm her.

Book Blurb for Shameless

Lady Elizabeth Banning, the youngest and most headstrong of the three Banning sisters, is a shameless, hardened flirt with a reputation for jilting fiances. Perhaps she is reluctant to marry due to her father's appalling treatment of his wives and daughters, or perhaps because she's headstrong and likes to do as she pleases. When a mysterious man helps extricate Beth from a potentially scandalous situation that arises after she throws over another fiance, Beth doesn't realise she has become a weapon government-sanctioned assassin Neil Severin can use against her brother-in-law Hugh, the Duke of Richmond. A member of the War Office who has determined that Neil is a menace to society and must be taken out, Hugh is the only person who knows Neil's true identity as the Marquis of Durham. If Neil kills Hugh before Hugh and the War Office kill him, he can re-assume his identity as a nobleman with no one the wiser about his bloody but patriotic past. When Neil attempts to abduct Beth in order to force a confrontation with Hugh, one of her angry jilted fiances beats him to it. As Neil rescues Beth from a medieval fortress on the Scottish border where depraved aristocrats purchase doxies, he and Beth weather many adventures and fall in love. Clever Beth comes up with a way of negating the official death sentence against Neil.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2011 3.50