One Bashful Lady by Brenda Williamson
Samhain Publishing
Historical Romance
ISBN: 1-59998-198-X
Reviewed by Talia Ricci



Ainsley Delacourte is extremely shy.  So shy in fact that when she is forced to participate in social events, she becomes physically ill, runs away and hides.  Used to blending in with her surroundings, she knows what is going on all the time, even if she doesn’t verbalize it.  When her mother arranges for her to marry the Marquess of Dunsmore in her sister’s place, Ainsley is scared to death but resolved to her fate.  The fact that Desmond seems to genuinely wish her to be his wife helps.  It is later that Ainsley overhears the real reason Desmond wanted a wife and Ainsley’s heart begins to crumble.

Desmond Rawlington is playing a very dangerous game.  Needing to be close to the Prince Regent, he has to marry a Delacourte; they are relatives of the royal family and he must be invited to royal parties in order to complete his mission.  He doesn’t count on falling in love with Ainsley, but his mission is of the utmost importance.  His family’s good name depends on it.

I liked the premise of this novel and the blurb for One Bashful Lady was intriguing.  My expectations were higher somewhat, because I found Ainsley’s shyness inconsistent.  One minute she was running away mortified but the next she was able to have a four hour dinner conversation with a prince.  Then there was Desmond.  I found him lacking in tact where his wife was concerned and his blatant disregard and cruel words, in the guise of his mission, didn’t set well with me.  In fact, more than once I wanted Ainsley to punch him right in the mouth and then it would have made me feel better.

So far as story and plot go, I very much liked the set up, and in fact, I could not figure out if Desmond was a traitor until the very end of the book, which is a plus for me.  I never like to figure out a plot too early and Ms. Williamson kept me on the edge of my seat with the storyline of One Bashful Lady.   Once I got past wanting to beat up Desmond, I actually enjoyed seeing Ainsley shine and ended up enjoying One Bashful Lady


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