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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
Lady in the Briars - Carola Dunn The day she turns 21, Rebecca runs away from her abusive uncle. She becomes a lady's companion, but the state of terror she lived in for years has left its mark.
Lord John Danville stops in to see his family after accidentally wounding someone in a duel. While there, he is intrigued by their new companion--the shy and timid Rebecca. He contrives to have her sent to Russia (where he's headed to be a diplomat) with him. For a few months, he pretends to be a dissolute nobleman while spying on the Russian army, and she attends sparkling parties and attracts some notice. But when John's ulterior motives are discovered, it is Rebecca who is seized and imprisoned.

I've liked Dunn in the past, so I was surprised by how much this book disappointed me. Rebecca is amazingly obtuse in regards to John's feelings for her, and continually tries to martyr herself. John, who is obvious about his attraction to Rebecca for the first 100 pages (manipulating his family into bringing Rebecca to Russia, losing his breath when he sees her all dressed up, getting angry when other men show interest in her, etc) somehow manages to forget that he thinks she's totally hot right around pg 180. Then we the readers have to sit through some 20 pages of him trying to figure out how he feels about her. Dude. You already know. The author just decided the book needed to be a little longer.