TWO DIFFERENT CLASSES, ONE COMMON DESIRE... Lady Bernadette Marie Burton may be the richest widow in England, but like her dreams of finding true passion, her reputation is deteriorating. Cruel gossip, loneliness and hoards of opportunistic suitors have her believing Society couldn't be more vile...or dangerous. So when an attacker threatens her life, she finds safety in the most unseemly of places: the arms of a mysterious, Irish-American gang leader. His fortune stolen, young Matthew Milton is done playing the respectable gentleman. In the slums of New York, only ruffians thrive. But from the moment he arrives in London and encounters the voluptuous Lady Bernadette, he can't help but wonder about the finer pleasures he's missing. Or just how much he's willing to risk-not only to bed her, but to prove his worth....
Unique and brilliant! Forever a Lady gives us a look at everything of this time period from the dirty NY slums to the glittering English mansions. The plot was full of intrigue and adorable romance.
Bernadette is a different character. Rather than being an innocent society lady, she's an experienced woman whose reputation is tattered at best. But I liked that about her. I liked that she didn't let society's standards get in the way of what she wanted. And that included a man who was below her class.
That brings us to Matthew. In the summary, Matthew is identified as a gang leader. But, he's by no means a thug. He tries to help people in ways that are less than legal, working with the police in most cases. He was born wealthy, but was forced onto the streets after his fathers's newspaper went bankrupt because of a sleezy solicitor. He made the best of his new situation, gaining a following that kept him powerful in the NY streets while trying to repair wrongs. But he's very sweet. He has a lot of pride, though I could understand why, but he's absolutely adorable to Bernadette, and to the innocent victims that he saves on a regular basis. (In the beginning, he saves two little girls from being sold into prostitution, and he was a total sweetheart to them.) I loved his relationship with Bernadette. After starting off shaky, it really comes to be a true, deep love. It was lovely to read about.
The plot was full of twists and turns. Just when you think you know what's going to happen, something changes. It was fun and full of intrigue, romance, and thrills.
My one problem was how Bernadette and Matthew acted toward each other in the beginning. They were not very nice to each other. They both had reasons to be angry with each other, but I didn't feel like it justified the way they behaved. It wasn't a huge problem, and it resolved fairly quickly after their relationship blossomed, but it did irritate me.
Otherwise, Forever a Lady was a lovely book.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!