Marguerite Butler,
The Mad Hatterlys #1:
Compromising Prudence

(Aurora Regency, 2010)

When Prudence decides to take control of her own destiny, her defiant spirit quickly enmeshes her with strange men, strange places and more alcohol than is advisable to imbibe. When her path crosses with bird-loving Charles Hatterly, Prudence finds that compromising may be the key to achieving her new, independent life.

Charles Hatterly is far from used to compromising, but finds himself doing so more and more when it comes to Prudence. Will their arrangement rescue them both from their family's censure? Or will it just lead them into imprudent decisions and compromised positions?

Compromising Prudence is a tuxedo strawberry of a book! It's sweet, fresh and charming, with an orderly outside to complement its natural inner deliciousness. The rules of society surround Butler's story, but always come second to the main characters' personalities. Prudence is wonderfully strong-willed without becoming the stereotypical headstrong heroine. Likewise, Charles' ability to adapt his thinking gives him more maturity than the usual bewildered bachelor.

The emotions of these characters, particularly Prudence, read as very organic and relatable. Their relationship dynamic is delightful because, once they've met, it arises from simple experience of each other rather than relying on shocking events or societal values. The lack of melodrama doesn't dull Butler's book, but adds extra lightness, making this a quick, easy read for whiling away plane time, car trips, rainy days or tea time. But it's the inherent likability of Charles and Prudence that drives this romance to the level of sweetness that turns Compromising Prudence from plain fruit into tuxedo strawberries.

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book review by
Whitney Mallenby

9 March 2013

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