Book Review: Liz Carlyle’s Never Lie to a Lady

Posted February 19, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Liz Carlyle’s Never Lie to a Lady

Never Lie to a Lady

in Paperback edition on June 19, 2007 and has 432 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

First in the Neville Family historical romance series. The couple focus is on Xanthia Neville and Lord Nash.

Might want to fix that one line: “…being backward gets one nowhere, does it?” “Doesn’t it” would work so much better.

My Take

It’s certainly an intriguing start to the romance, and not one that I’ve ever encountered before. I do love how perfectly suited Xanthia and the romantic Stefan are for each other, and Carlyle takes advantage to write a great story as she plays against the mores and expectations of the time.

A woman playing against the expected role of a post-Regency lady with the gentlemen who support her. It’s an unexpected twist on an historical romance, and while Carlyle includes a few other departures from normal behavior for this time period, she incorporates enough to satisfy me and make me want to buy this series so I can read it again and again.

The animosity between Gareth and Xanthia is handled weirdly. She keeps saying one thing and thinking another, more like an immature teenager than the savvy, mature businesswoman she’s supposed to be.

Clever bit, using Pamela’s condition to force Xanthia into the ton. Carlyle is also setting up all sorts of future possibilities. All very nicely played.

Crack me up. Wait’ll you read the scene where Kemble is decorating the counting house. Then there’s Xanthia’s first meeting with Lady Nash and Lady Phaedra. I want to read Never Deceive a Duke if only to read more about this interaction!

The Story

The prologue sets the evil background that threatens the Nash family.

It’s at Lady Sharpe’s ball that Xanthia encounters Nash, giving her an idea of his character — its highs and lows. So when she and Kieran are importuned by de Vendenheim regarding gunrunning as well as the Greek versus Turk issues, well, Xanthia has her own ideas.

The Characters

Miss Xanthia Neville is a very independent lady, who runs the family business, Neville Shipping. Much more preferable than balls, parties, and picnics. At almost thirty, she is considering an affaire as she doubts ever finding a husband. Baron Rothewell, Kieran, is her brother and completely disinterested in the business. In life for that matter. Gareth Lloyd is the company’s business agent and a long-time friend of both siblings. He’d like to be much more. Trammel is the Neville butler. Olivia is their extremely self-centered aunt.

Stefan Mihailo Northampton, the Marquess of Nash, who considers himself a “gamester and professional sybarite” never expected to inherit the title or Brierwood. Gibbons is his valet. Swann is his man of affairs. Miss Lisette Lyle is his increasingly disinterested mistress. When his father married Edwina, Stefan got step-siblings: Tony Hayden-Worth is a politican married to Jenny ; Lady Phaedra is in her early twenties; and, Lady Phoebe is much like her mother, something of an idiot.

Lady Sharpe, Pamela, is the Nevilles’ cousin, and she is in an interesting way. Lady Louisa is her daughter, who has just come out. Mrs. Christine Ambrose is her sister-in-law and “an amoral cat” with some very erotic connections. Lady Bledsoe is the Nevilles’ aunt and Pamela’s mother.

Lord de Vendenheim-Sélestat, Max, is a vicomte and is with Mr. Peel in the Home Office. Mr. Kemble is…hmm…how shall I say this, an expert opportunist. In this story, he is thrust into being Xanthia’s bodyguard. And interior decorator, snicker.

Lady Henslow is the dowager Marchioness of Nash’s sister, making her Nash’s step-aunt. Mrs. Wescot is the wife of an idiot whom Nash takes pity on.

Comtesse de Montignac is a blackmailer riddled with syphilis…ick. Pierre is her tolerant husband, an attaché to the French embassy.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a complement of blues and peach with the long-legged Xanthia in a gorgeous navy silk off-the-shoulder gown as she reclines against a cloud of pale blue.

The title is a bit confusing and would be better titled Never Lie to a Lord.