Friday, April 30, 2010

REVIEW: My Unfair Lady by Kathryne Kennedy

My Unfair Lady is fun and romantic version of the play Pygmalion that takes place in Victorian England featuring a young American heiress named Summer Wine Lee and Byron, the Duke of Monchester.

Summer Wine Lee was raised in the wild west of Arizona where her father dedicated himself to mining in hopes of making a fortune. During this time, Summer lived free, befriending an Apache Indian, learning skills such as stealth, hunting, caring for animals, and how to defend herself. Free from the restraints and expectations of gender and social class, Summer is somewhat of a free spirit. She is kindhearted and respectful, but definitely a free spirit and pretty much oblivious of how a lady is expected to behave.

Summer's father achieves his fortune and they move to New York City where Summer meets a young man named Monte with whom she falls in love. His family, however, determines she is not good enough for Monte and forbids their betrothal. Determined to be accepted by Monte's family so they can marry, Summer goes to London with her best friend, Maria to learn how to be a proper lady and with hopes of being presented to the Queen herself.

Once in London, Summer hires the impoverished Duke of Monchester, Byron, to be her sponsor and mold her to the perfect lady and also hopefully present her to the Queen. The duke is a cold and rude man who maintains his place in society through his friendship with Prince Albert. He also happens to detest American heiresses who think they can come to England and essentially buy titles from his countrymen. Yet he accepts Summer's offer in part because she is not seeking a British title as she has already promised herself to a man back in New York, and also because she will provide the duke with many entertaining anecdotes for him to share with the Prince.

Byron proceeds to attempt to teach Summer the ways of a proper lady. He accompanies her on many outings including dress shopping, balls, horse races, and even a trip to the summer home of the Prince where they partake in a foxhunt and hunting for birds. Just as her name suggests, Summer slowly warms the cold duke's heart with her honesty, humor, kindheartedness and curiosity. She amuses him to no end and he soon finds himself falling in love with her and not wanting to change a single thing about her. Of course, she is falling for him as well, yet refuses to break her vow to Monte in America and besides, the duke is adamant about never marrying at all, let alone an American!

As the story unfolds, both Summer and Byron learn so much about themselves, each other and their families that make them rethink the simplicity and importance of just being yourself and loving yourself just the way you are.

My Unfair Lady is a sweet, fun romance. Summer is a charming blend of innocence and independence and always acts out of the goodness of her heart. She is free spirited by way of her openness and honesty, and comes across quite wild by the way she always carries a knife strapped to her calf and her affinity for wild animals, but is more genuine and kindhearted than any other titled lady in the book. Byron is cold and rude, but that's just a front he's learned to maintain in order to live up to his title and what society expects of him. I loved the way Summer so naturally and unintentionally brought out the best in him, making him laugh and care about things he'd long neglected or forgotten. In turn, Byron taught Summer that she is worthy of love and acceptance by just being herself and she should never try to change for anyone. And isn't that a lesson worth learning and living by for everyone who wishes to live happily ever after?


  1. I love the original My fair lady so this sounds like it might be a fun read.

  2. I had such fun reading this book. Summer and Byron were such an odd pair, but I loved their coming together. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

  3. I saw this one at my used bookstore and grabbed it ('cause who doesn't love a bargain?) I haven't read it yet but am glad to see you liked it.

  4. This sounds very interesting. I'll have to look for it.

  5. You keep posting on these historicals and make me want to try one again. One of these days. *g*

  6. Hi Rana! My Unfair Lady is a very cute and fun book. I hate to use the word "cute" to describe it... but it was! There were definitely serious moments, but so much of the interaction between Summer and Byron was just plain FUN. I smiled quite a bit reading this one.

    Hilcia, I should go back and reread your review now that I read it for myself. And another big thank you for passing this one on to me. I really liked it. xo

    Patti, So glad you picked this one up. I think you'll like it. It's very sweet.

    Phyl, I loved reading about an American heroine in Victorian England. That alone says fun, right? I hope you give it a try.

    Brandy, I'd be delighted if I manage to get you to pick up an historical romance again. :)

  7. I too love My Fair Lady! Great review Christine.

    Initially, I wasn't so sure, but as the review progressed the book's plot surprised me. I might have to see if my library has this :)

  8. orannia, I hope you give My Unfair Lady a try. It is a very cute story.

  9. I have this one in my tbr pile. Sounds good.

    Thanks for the review, Christine!

  10. I love this kind of story, so I'm definitively going to look out for me... My only issue is I tried reading this author before and didn't really like it... but since there is no paranormal element in this book, it might work better :P


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