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Lady Be Bad (Merry Widows) [Mass Market Paperback]

Candice Hern
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Book (7 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451221915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451221919
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,049,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Candice Hern is the award-winning best-selling author of historical romance novels set during the English Regency, a period she knows well through years of collecting antiques and fashion prints of the era. She travels to England regularly, always in search of more historical and local color to help bring her books to life. Her books have won praise for their "intelligence and elegant romantic sensibility" (Romantic Times) as well as "delicious wit and luscious sensuality" (Booklist). Her award-winning website ( is often cited for its "Collections" of Regency antiques, as well as Candice's Regency World, including an illustrated glossary, a detailed timeline of Regency events, illustrated digests of Regency people and places, and much more. It is the only author website listed among the online resources at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, and has been referenced by the Museum of London.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rake and Widow. 16 Mar 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book i have read of this author and i must say it was good. No villans as such bad a very bad hero. The heroine (Grace) knows he is bad but she can also see the good in him and is confused. He never pretends to be anything but himself. For a wager he is to seduce her and the whole book is about that but it is well paced. The transformation of their relationship is believable. A good read. If you enjoyed Loretta Chase - the Knave's wager and Lord of Scondrels than you will enjoy this book which is the 3rd of the Merry Widows Trilogy: In the Thrill of the Night (1), Just One of Those Flings (2), Lady Be Bad (3).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 18 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A nice easy read and it helped disperse the wi tee blues. Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you seller
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hot hot hot 16 Nov 2013
By Sarah
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A book you just can't put down with steamy romance and a twist in the ending.I hope Candice writes more in this style
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4.0 out of 5 stars Historic novel 22 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like the work of Candice Hern, she is amazing writer and her work is keeping you reading till the end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Libertine's wager awakens bishop widow's wicked side 7 Aug 2007
By Misuzmama - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Debauched Libertine and prolific gambler John Grayston, Lord Rochdale, knows that there is not a woman in London that he can't seduce. He's known for his prowess in the bedroom and the countless women he's had, even bringing some to ruin. It is simply a fact is that no one can resist the handsome devil's charms. So when a sceptical friend decides to put that theory to a test, Rochdale is more than willing to accept the wager especially when the prize is a racing horse he's had his eye on. It doesn't matter that the object of his seduction is the prim bishop's widow who despises him. Some seductions take more time than others and he is determined to get past this lady's defenses.

Taught by her famous bishop husband to repress all wanton urges, widow Grace Marlowe is unnerved when the scoundrel's attentions seemed to be focused on her. Like a predator, Rochdale slowly circles his prey. Bit by bit he breaks down Grace's virtuous walls with a look here and a subtle touch there. But she is not fooled. There has been more than one woman who has been cast aside and ruined by this libertine and Grace is not about to be the next. She simply must remind herself of her late husband's moral teachings.

But how long and how much can a lady really resist? And how far will a man go to win a wager and get this lady into his bed? Temptation is a powerful force. And when the Hero/Heroine true nature is finally revealed who exactly is the seducer; the wicked one?

Simply one of the best reformed rake books I've ever read. Rochdale is the ultimate no-good deliciously handsome scoundrel that every historical romance reader loves. Thankfully not as dark and cruel as some. He's the proverbial bad boy that doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself. His life revolves around drinking, gambling and women with the world at his finger tips. A seemingly 'happy' man that isn't about to changes his ways for anyone.

Enter: the ultra pious bishop's widow. Grace is polar opposite of Rochdale. She's the queen of do-gooders and as priggish as they come. So much so that this reader was surprised she didn't sprout angel wings and a halo.

But of course they are the perfect match. He may not be so wicked and she may not be so good. Hern's (authors) characterizations are fabulous. I loved reading about Grace's struggle to suppress her wanton cravings and Rochdale's confusion over his less than bad behavior. There really isn't much going on besides the seduction, but that didn't matter to me. The more I got to read about Rochdale the better.**Major eyebrow wiggling here**;).

Highly recommended and sitting firmly on my keeper shelf. A near perfect love story that had this reader sighing at the end.

If you love reformed rakes, I also recommend 'Devil in Winter'(my all time fav rake) by Kleypas, 'The Rake' by Mary Jo Putney and 'Lord of Scoundrels' by Loretta Chase.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 jaded rake + 1 pious widow = 1 steamy romance 9 Aug 2007
By avines - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
i've truly enjoyed this 'merry widows' trilogy. in order:

in the thrill of the night
just one of those flings
lady be bad

LADY BE BAD features a love story between a jaded 'duke of slut' and a physically and emotionally repressed bishop's widow. john grayston, lord rochdale, is a true rake. he's a professional gambler who lives a debauched lifestyle which includes intimate relations with many women and he's unapologetic about it. he has even ruined a debutante or two (according to the rumors). one of his colleagues challenges the widely accepted belief regarding rochdale's prowess in bed, and bets him he cannot bed the bishop's widow, known for her pious nature. rochdale accepts the wager and the seduction begins.

grace marlowe was taught by her late husband, the bishop of london, that giving in to one's emotions or desires is sinful. he had an image to uphold and therefore, grace was expected to put up an emotionless front at all times. because of this, she has become an expert at denying all of her urges, sexually or otherwise. so when rochdale begins following her with his smoldering eyes, she's put out of sorts.

please note that their first meeting actually takes place in the first book of the series, IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT and actually sets up the very beginning of this story where they find themselves together alone. i think it's important to read that book first so that the reader can better appreciate the differences in the hero and heroine and the challenges they will face as they find their way towards each other.

i loved the fact that the hero did not change his stripes immediately. for most of the book he was unrepentant. the exposing of his more sensitive and caring nature takes place in a believable manner. initially he's resistant to it, but it is grace who brings out his better nature.

grace also finds herself being positively influenced by rochdale, although she doesn't think so at first. he encourages her to be more self-empowered, a rarity for a man during this era. during this time the sexual attraction for them continues to grow in strength until neither is able to deny it.

it is around the point of the first intimate encounter where i felt the book is weakened. while it does showcase just how the hero and heroine are changing towards each other, it comes across as a bit melodramatic. the intimate scenes themselves are well written though and build up of the sexual tension throughout the first part of the book kept me on the edge of my seat.

why the four stars instead of five? the last couple of chapters feature the fallout from the discovery of the wager, which i expected. however, there was one more totally unnecessary misunderstanding tossed in at almost the very end and the hero and heroine behave in a way that almost erases the believability in the emotional growth they supposedly experienced through the story. although the misunderstanding does lead to an extremely romantic moment between them, i was willing to sacrifice that moment if it meant not having to deal with the foolishness behind that misunderstanding.

so it gets a solid 4 stars for a mostly mature romance between two emotionally dynamic characters who end up bringing out the best of each other, both sexually and emotionally. it also features well-written and engaging sexual tension and intimate scenes.

definitely recommended.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Lady" Could Have Been Better... 9 Aug 2007
By Maggie - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The basic premise of the story -- the Libertine accepts a wager to seduce the Bishop's Widow in order to win a coveted horse --could have been so much better.

A little over 300 pages, a quick read in all, there wasn't much depth to the story. I was unable to suspend my belief long enough to be swept away. How could a young woman who had been married to the Bishop of London, a vicar's daughter, succumb so quickly to the temptations of a known reprobate? This plot should have been filled with angst and longing; it needed to be more playful, a ride filled with pitfalls, naughty even, but instead was predictable down to the point of who would reveal the secret wager to the newly-in-love Widow.

The other two books in the series were much better, especially Beatrice's story. Wilhelmina's story deserves to be told. She is a character whose life has been difficult and has risen above it all to find a shaky foothold in society's upper class.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reverse self-righteousness? 22 Aug 2007
By tachi1 - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First, I'd like to say that this book--all three books in this series, actually--have the most beautiful covers I've seen recently in paperbacks: clean, elegant, simple & artfully drawn. They really stand out and I hope they will start a trend.

The contents of the books, however, while entertaining, don't have any of the attributes of the covers, and that's a shame. The first two books (my firsts by this author) were moderately entertaining as fiction & stretched probability about as far as they could go & still be based in the Regency period.

This last book, the one which I expected to be the best, somehow missed. I'm having a hard time figuring out why I found it almost embarrasing to read.

Was it the naive assumption that someone as "bad" as the hero was, in reality, a far better & truer person than most? (Maybe I have to start looking at Hugh Hefner in a totally different light?)

Was it the assumption that those who appear to be good and follow the rules of society and their faith, are actually all hypocrites, have an agenda or are, at best, fools?

Are we to believe that they only true way to happiness is to break away from all previous retraints, reject what you previously believed & reinvent yourself as your polar opposite?

Are we to believe that all this change that took place is a matter of weeks is deep and sincere & will actually last, (not just lust at first sight) & that neither main character will later regret it & revert to form?

I couldn't buy it, in spite of all the modern psycho-babble spouted by the other widows, I think both these people have made a major mistake & that the author forced square pegs into round holes just to make the story end the way she wanted it to.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Do you like Rakes? 19 Oct 2007
By C. Cox - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you do you'll probably really like this book. It's a good book. Well written, and the characters are fully drawn. The only problem I had with the book is that I'm about Raked out.

Lord Rochdale is one of those truly bad rakes. Every rumor about him is true and when we meet him he is about the most self-obsessed and vain creature I've ever seen. Yes, he changes during the book, to the point where I actually like him and yes we see he has 'reasons' for turning into a cold heartless debaucher. But be that as it may, the reasons don't seem quite that solid to me. And it gives me little assurance that down the road, when the going gets tough, he'll be all he can be and won't turn around and be up to his old tricks.

Grace really did need to come out of the shell her late husband built for her. But for her to do a 180 from the woman she was is a little hard to swallow, especially in that day and age. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the book at all and I think a lot of people will really love it. I'm just at the point now in my reading where I'm looking for a hero who hasn't bedded hundreds of women and a woman who doesn't come completely undone by the mere touch of a rakes hand. Maybe I'm looking for something a little more realistic...or just something that will allow me to believe that 20 years from the end of the story they'll still be together and happy.
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