#COYER Review: Improper Arrangements (Improper #2) – Juliana Ross

Posted 17 March, 2014 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 8 Comments

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
#COYER Review: Improper Arrangements (Improper #2) – Juliana Ross
4 Stars

France, 1866

A reckless infatuation nearly ruined Lady Alice Cathcart-Ross in her youth, but from the moment she spies Elijah Philemon Keating scaling a rock face without a rope in sight, the man awakens her long-buried desire. Alice has come to the high Alps in search of a mountaineer, and in Elijah she finds the guide of her dreams.

Though Elijah is known as one of the greatest explorers of the age, a tragic accident has destroyed his taste for adventure and society. Elijah can't deny his attraction to Alice, but he resolves to avoid the entanglement that could accompany it. He promises Alice one week in the Alps, and no more.

Alice agrees, valuing her independence above all else. But as the heights they climb by day are overshadowed by the summits of passion they reach at night, these vows become harder and harder to keep…

*I received a free ARC of Improper Arrangements from Carina Press via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

Improper Arrangements is pretty improper! Twenty-six year-old Alice travels alone, and then finds herself a male guide for a week-long walk through mountain passes in the French and Swiss Alps… and Alice is not exactly innocent… Neither, of course is Eli, but it was always understood that men could behave any way they wanted to, whereas women were supposed to stay pure and demure.

And the fact that Alice was not a perfect little lady is one of the reasons I enjoyed Improper Arrangements so much! She knew what she wanted, and went after it. At first, Eli thought nothing of spending some naughty time with her, but afterwards, he thought she had used her feminine wiles to make him be her guide from Argentières to Arolla. And the places the couple walked by is another reason Improper Arrangements spoke to me – I live close to the French and Swiss Alps, and have been in several of the places Alice was able to visit during the story.

There was an instant physical attraction between Alice and Eli, and it was very refreshing to read about a woman in that period who was not ashamed to go after a man who pleased her, and who also knew how to pleasure herself when need be. However, this is also where I was a little confused at times, because Alice was very bold in some moments, then she was like the shy quivering virgin in other moments. She would do things to Eli without question, and then she was ashamed when he reciprocated. I also found that there was some word-usage that was a little anachronistic, and this kind of pulled me out of the story of Improper Arrangements a couple of times.

Both the dialogs and the other interactions between Alice and Eli were well done, I enjoyed Alice’s repartee, and I thought it was awesome that Eli commented on how different from other women she was – and he showed that he really enjoyed that, too. Eli was not a man of double standards, and that was just as refreshing as a woman who was strong and independent.

His irises shone a pale, clear gray, so light they might have been silver, and were ringed with a narrow band of blue the exact color of India ink. In all my life, I’d never seen such unusual eyes.

At the time, I’d sworn to myself I would never be tempted again – not by a man’s pretty words and certainly not by an attractive face r form. What real need had I of a man, after all?

I valued the life I had created for myself and had no wish to see it destroyed. I was a modern woman, a woman who took pride in making rational, sensible choices. But that woman had vanished, or perhaps had been vanquished, and in her place was an Alice I scarcely recognized, heedless of consequence, reckless to the point of ruin, deaf to everything save the flame of need his touch had kindled.

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Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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8 responses to “#COYER Review: Improper Arrangements (Improper #2) – Juliana Ross

  1. I love the sounds of Alice – especially considering that she’s this way in 1866! How cool that the story takes place somewhere you can visualize easily too! The soul screamers series takes place in Arlington, TX where I lived for 6 years and it always improved the reading experience for me that I KNEW the places she used. Great review 🙂

    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted: Sunday Post | 34th Edition
    • It’s always an added bonus to read a book where you know exactly where the characters are.

      Thanks for stopping by, Berls 🙂

    • It didn’t take too much away form the actual story, though, Pamela. And I actually enjoy reading about anachronistic heroines 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Cheers to an independent woman who goes after what she wants! Improper Arrangements sounds like an exciting read, Lexxie. I do understand your confusion with the changes in Alice’s behavior though. But I love it when women break the gender barriers of their times. Plus, I would really like to read about the Alps! 😉

    I hope your week is going well!! I’m still trying to catch up with my comments. Someone *gestures at YOU* is posting faster than I can read. 🙂 Have a great Thursday! *hugs*

    • That’s why I really enjoyed it as well, Brandee. Breaking gender barriers, and being able to do what she set out to do made Alice a great character to get to know. And you would love reading about the Alps! Some of the places she visited are pretty close to here (40 minutes away by car) and we often go for walks there, or we go skiing.

  3. Great Review Lexx! The various settings of their travels would be places that I would love to hear about! I love the fact that Alice knew what she wanted and went after it! The fact that she acted ashamed at times would confuse me too. Nevertheless, I’m glad you enjoyed this one overall!

    • It was a pretty good read, Lindy, and you’d enjoy her walking in the Alps at day, and having fun with her guide at night 😉

      Thanks for stopping by.

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