Saturday, October 16, 2010

Let Me Be The One by Jo Goodman ****

I read this first in April 2008, along with the other 3 in the Compass Club series, but didn't write full reviews. I merely commented that I liked them all about 4 stars, but not as keepers. So when I found them for free downloads of audio books at the library, I figured - what the heck - I'll listen to them as well.

I think the 4 star rating stays. I did enjoy it, but not as a favorite; I will probably listen to all 4 but plan to measure them out and not do them back-to-back.

The story is of 4 friends from school, as adults it's the Regency era I believe. The boys all have potential titles, each of which has a "direction" in it: North, East, South, West. In this one, the hero has come into his title - Earl of Northam. He meets Elizabeth Penrose while at a house party, and pursues her.

Libby, although the daughter of an earl, has a sordid secret that keeps her from going out on the marriage mart. Since revealing it would be a spoiler, I'll just say she figures she'll never experience love _again_. She has a disfiguring limp and isn't much for the marriage mart niceties like painting and needlework.

Of course, the Compass Club adult men are all now spies - or something - it's just implied; there is also a Mystery of the Gentleman Thief, a cat burglar who is not only stealing jewels during grand galas but has also managed to obtain traitorous papers. Northam is on a mission to uncover the thief's identity and get the papers back. How can Libby help?

Because all 4 books happen at about the same time, we hear of the other 3 men and just teensy parts of their stories during this book.

The narrator is Virginia Leishman. She has a wonderful, very proper-sounding British accent (acquired as a child, having been raised in England, per Audiofile magazine online) that worked well with the story.

4 stars

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