Review and Giveaway: Shameless by Karen Robards

Posted April 5, 2010 by Casee in Giveaways | 39 Comments

Casee‘s review of Shameless (Banning Sisters Trilogy, Book 3) by Karen Robards.

In Regency England, a beautiful young woman finds her life thrown into turmoil by the arrival of a handsome scoundrel. Lady Elizabeth, the youngest and most headstrong of the three Banning sisters, has been engaged three times, and has most scandalously broken off all three engagements. Her fear of becoming any man’s property has kept her from marriage and earned her a reputation in the ton as a heartbreaking flirt.

Neil Severin is a wicked rogue, black of heart and black of reputation. A man of no morals, devoid of compassion, he is a government sanctioned assassin. And his newest target is a man Beth holds dear. When the flame-haired beauty thwarts his plan, Neil exacts his own brand of spicy revenge.

Beth despises him. Neil doesn’t care. But circumstances most unexpectedly throw them together, and with Beth’s life in danger, Neil finds himself in the unexpected role of hero, racing to save her before it’s too late.

What he never expects is the twist fate hands him: instead of his saving her, Beth winds up saving him. When the ruthless organization he works for turns its agents loose on him, only Beth stands between him and a death he thought he didn’t fear.

Shameless has been eight years in the making. I only remember this series is the vaguest sense. I remember that there were three sisters. The third and youngest sister didn’t seem mature enough to have her own book when the series came out. In that way, the eight years may have been a good thing.

Beth Banning has always been an interesting character. That’s just about all I remember about her. As I continued to read the book, I had vague recollections of her sisters and her aunt, but other than that it was just like any historical. The book starts off with Beth telling her fifth (or fourth or third) fiancé that she has decided that they won’t suit. The man doesn’t take the news well and decides that he’ll make her marry him by ruining her. Read: Raping her. Now Beth is in a conundrum. If she screams for help (he is very determined in his “task”) then it will bring everyone that is attending her sister’s ball running into what is essentially her ruin. It’s not really herself she cares about, but her sisters. Her family has had about all the controversy it can take and Beth knows that the Banning’s can’t weather another scandalous storm.

That was probably my biggest issue with Beth. Seriously, you’re going to let yourself be viciously (and it would have been vicious) raped to save your family the scandal? What about the heartache they would feel knowing that you kept quiet for them? Honestly. Beth’s reaction to the situation went beyond brave straight into stupid.

Beth successfully extracts herself from the situation and finds a stranger standing behind a curtain (that covers a window he obviously came through) that was watching the whole time. Beth turns this to her advantage, asking him for help in exchange for not telling her brother-in-law that he has a housebreaker. Little does she know that the housebreaker is a trained assassin and that he’s come to kill her brother-in-law.

Neil Severin planned to get in and out. Beth was a distraction that he could ill afford. Neil isn’t used to feeling any sort of amusement or, well, really anything, but Beth brings something out in him. While contemplating how he can quickly break her neck, Beth is instructing him how to remove the body of her would-be rapist.

Eventually they part ways with Beth none the wiser. Neil didn’t get what he came for, but now that he knows who Beth is his plan is to kidnap her and tell Richmond (the brother-in-law) his demands. Something along the lines of call off your dogs and I’ll give you your sister back. His plan is thwarted when someone kidnaps Beth before he gets the chance to act.

Neil eventually catches up to Beth in Scotland where she is going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. When he goes into save her, he finds that she’s already saved herself along with a handful of women that were with her. Neil wants to take Beth and complete his plan, but Beth refuses to leave the women stranded. Thus begins a journey that Neil never thought he would take.

I loved Neil. He seemed like a child that was just discovering life. I loved how Beth brought color and feeling back into his life. Neil is the only one that seems to know Beth for who she truly is. He figures out rather quickly why she has thrown over so many men. Part of him wants to turn her away from him, but the selfish part of him insists that she is his.

Beth is so scared of being a man’s chattal and Neil is the perfect contrast to that. Beth finally realizes that Neil would never want her to be anyone but the person she is.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from Pocket. You can buy it here.

The series:

Book CoverBook CoverBook Cover

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39 responses to “Review and Giveaway: Shameless by Karen Robards

  1. I recently re-read SCANDALOUS in preparation for SHAMELESS’s release and have already forgotten all details. And this was just last month. Dang. Anyway, will definitely be reading SHAMELESS — love assassin heroes, and this one seems to have a bit of Anne Stuart-ish influence.

  2. Shameless sounds wonderful–I love strong heroines. I have to go find the others in this Robards series. Thanks for a good review.

  3. Anonymous

    How interesting that both this and Patience are finally available at right around the same time. I have both of the other books but have been waiting to read them til this one was actually published. — willaful

  4. Amber E.

    Great review! I’ve been hearing so much about the release of “Shameless” and this series I had to go out and buy the first book of the series “Scandalous”, and also my first book by Karen Robards’s. I loved it and can’t wait to read “Shameless”.

  5. Chelsea B.

    I’ve been wanting to try one of her books (actually was just reading about one in the store and then ventured to her website when I got home….) so I’m definitely interested now!

  6. ritu

    Actually, I remember Scandalous very well. When I first started reading romance (August 2005), Karen Robards was one of the first authors I tried out (I think it was because she was near Nora Roberts in the library and NR ALWAYS had a busy traffic. go figure). Anyway, scandalous was the first book of hers I tried. Was hoping that the triology would be finished. I’m really looking forward to reading this book. One more week to go!

  7. Anonymous

    I have been waiting for Shameless FOREVER! The first book in the series, Scandalous, is one of my favorite historical romances!! Would love a chance to win a copy 🙂 Neda jhuneda at yahoo dot com

  8. Great review! I have loved her books ever since I read her first historicals in the 80’s and I would love to read this one!
    I’ll have to go and look for the others in this series…

  9. Hrmmm sounds interesting but also similar to another book I have read. Honestly I don’t remember which once since I have slept many times over the years. LOL. But I do love Robards Romantic Thrillers so I will no doubt love these as well.

  10. Anonymous

    I’ve never read Karen Robards but I’m a sucker for assassin heros so this sounds like a good one for me to start with. – JenM

  11. This would be a new author for me… after reading your review am tempted to read it too.. and also read about the other two sisters… thanks for the review though…

  12. It looks like Robards is trying to integrate a contemporary thriller plot to her historical. I don’t go much for that in romance, but it could be interesting if it’s done well ;). In any case, I want to read this book because I enjoyed the 1st 2 Banning sisters books, although I confess to not remembering much about them either :). Thanks for the review!

  13. Oooo love the premise of the book – and yay! Positive response.
    I’ve never read anything by Karen Robards before, but now I think I must remedy that.

  14. Great review! Rainy weekend forecasted and I’m planning on spending it with the first two books in the “Banning Sisters Trilogy.” I’ve read all of Karen’s contemporaries but never a historical. From the reviews, I think I’m in for a nice treat!

  15. I enjoyed the review and how it talked about the leads complementing each other and balancing out the other for the better.

  16. iheartABBA

    I’d love to be entered to win this. Two of my most favorite novels are by Ms. Robards!

    iheartabba at gmail dot com

  17. Hello! This part of your review: “I loved Neil. He seemed like a child that was just discovering life.”, makes me want to read this book! : )

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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