Kate Noble came highly, highly recommended on Smart Bitches Trashy Books, and so I went and grabbed the sample of Compromised off Barnes and Noble’s ebook site. I can say right out that Ms. Noble’s overall writing style in that sample hooked me into buying all three of her available books; it’s a bit cliched, perhaps, to say that she has Austen-esque charm, but you know what? It’s what I thought when I read that sample.
That said, Compromised is the least interesting of her books. The scenario here is one that’s very likely familiar to readers not only of historical romance, but of any genre that spends any time in period settings: that of the older, plainer daughter being outshone by her beautiful sister. This time around, it’s a case of the man Older Plainer Sister is interested in being forced to propose to Beautiful Younger Sister… because OHNOEZ! He actually dared to sit alone with her and kiss her in the moonlit garden at her family’s ball! Yet he’s really way more interested in Older Plainer Sister because she’s the one with the brain and who likes all the same things he does! OHNOEZ!
Given this as a scenario, the rest of the story does pretty much proceed as expected. I do however give Ms. Noble props for carrying out with a deft light style that minimized the angst of it all and made all of the cast of characters generally likeable, even the sisters’ brusque stepmother. Much ado is made over what to modern readers probably will seem awfully tame: i.e., the hero was alone with the beautiful sister and kissed her, and there wasn’t even any removal of clothing going on, much less smexxing! Nor is there any particularly strident character conflict. The plot here is pretty much all about families trying to navigate their way through societal expectations, and the main characters trying to find a way to follow their hearts. Enjoyable overall, but definitely fluffy. Three stars.