Confessions of a Little Black Gown
Elizabeth Boyle
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Buy *Confessions of a Little Black Gown* by Elizabeth Boyle online

Confessions of a Little Black Gown
Elizabeth Boyle
384 pages
March 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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When in the second sentence of this English-set historical romance a character says, "Yes, yes, Lizzie, I'm nearly done here," my heart sank. We don't say "done" but "finished" in this context, and I feared another book chockful of historical dialogue inaccuracies and more.

Although accuracy isn't this book's forté, after a while this aspect of the book paled a little as I began to engage with the story. Thalia Langley, known (irritatingly!) as "Tally", is staying with her sister, the new Duchess of Hollingdrake, and helping her to organize a house party. When Tally meets her brother-in-law's cousin, the vicar Mr. Ryder, she finds him a mixture of appealing and ordinary. Something about him attracts her, but his ineffectualness and limp handshake hardly suggest he's the hero she's been waiting for.

Mr. Ryder isn't quite what he seems, however. Lord Larken is a master spy who has been sent to assassinate an escaped prisoner, a prisoner who it appears Tally and her cousin Pippin may have rescued from gaol. Larken is also trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of the woman who killed his father many years ago - but with Tally around, things aren't going quite as planned.

Overall the pacing in Confessions of a Little Black Gown is good - some action, some romance, several plot threads (some of which I imagine are followed on in the next book), and a variety of characters. However, believability suffers on many occasions; I was not convinced that Tally would wear the costly dress she finds in a trunk that isn't hers: it's tantamount to stealing. As mentioned earlier, the historical accuracy of dialogue isn't always spot on, but with books like this that's often a secondary issue. Although I did get irritated by all the nicknames and the subplot of Pippin and her pirate, I enjoyed this story more than I thought I would.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Helen Hancox, 2009

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