8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Rollicking Good Romance,
This review is from: A Proper Charlie (Kindle Edition)The title of this romance novel--"A Proper Charlie" --may be a bit misleading. The Charlie of the title is Charlotte Wallis or Charlie to her friends. She's not at all "proper"--and most everyone--even Charlie herself-- likes it that way. That is, until a new boss from the upper echelons of society--Ben Middleton--arrives on the scene. This handsome newcomer turns Charlie's world upside down and makes her re-evaluate her life and her goals.
Charlie works as a clerk at London Core, a British tabloid newspaper. She has acquired this position thanks to her long-time buddy, Melvin, a senior writer at the paper--and outspoken gay advocate. The two are as close as brother and sister, having grown up together in various orphanages. Charlie dreams of someday becoming a journalist, just like Melvin, and someday marrying her n'er do well boyfriend Andy. Charlie even goes so far as to immerse herself in the world of prostitution in hopes of getting a first-hand account of "The Gentleman Abductor," a prostitute killer who has been creating havoc for local women of the street.
Ben Middleton is the son of media mogul Donald Middleton. His mother has just died and his father is recovering from a serious illness. Ben has been asked by his father to take over the reins of London Core as part of a corporate merger. When Ben's sister Camilla suddenly runs away from home, Ben takes it upon himself to track her down. When his hired investigator fails to produce results, Ben goes underground after receiving word that Camilla may be hiding out with a prostitute--patrolling the streets as a possible customer.
As can be imagined, Charlie's efforts to track down the Gentleman Abductor and Ben's efforts to locate his missing sister bring the couple together and lead them on some hair-raising adventures in the London underbelly. Along the way, they start to fall in love--but concerns about the dissimilarities haunt them. Can these two Brits from opposite ends of the social spectrum work together to find the Gentleman Abductor? Can they fall in love despite their obvious social differences? Can Prince William marry a commoner?
I had a rollicking good time reading "A Proper Charlie." The characters are fun and funny. Charlie is immediately likeable and I found myself rooting for Charlie and Ben to find each other early on. The secondary characters are richly drawn--each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Melvin is a hoot and I also like the wise, long-suffering housekeeper Iris.
The pace and plotting is quick and there are no long, dull spots that drag. But the best part of this book is the dialogue. Ms. Wise has a wonderful ear for character dialogue and I loved how she brought people from various occupations and social strata to life with just a few words. In particular, I was entranced with all the wonderful, contemporary English slang used in this book. I recognized a few Briticisms like "posh" and "bollocks" but some terms were totally new to me such as "Y-fronts" or "kerb."