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Victoria Vane

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Outrageously Yours (Her Majesty's Secret Servants #2) - Allison Chase When I first picked up this title, I though the premise just a bit too hokey for me to enjoy, but I was pleasantly surprised and charmed.

The ���secret servant��� selected for the mission is a very bookish and sensible young woman named Ivy Sutherland. Ivy is instructed to go under cover as a student of Natural Philosophies at the all male Cambridge University where she encounteres Simon de Burgh, Marquess of Harrow. Lord harrow is determined to find a laboratory assistant and presents a scientific challenge in order to select the student who will become his prot��g��. Ivy, passionate about the exciting fields that the Marquess is exploring in his cutting-edge work in electromagnetism, wins the challenge and becomes his assistant.

Although Ivy is masquerading as a boy, the chemistry between them is immediate and intense as they are thrown closely together in their work.

I found Simon to be a fascinating hero. While not fooled for more than a minute by Ivy���s disguise, he goes along with the charade just to give her a chance to explore the sciences, something that would never be permitted to a woman. As layer by layer is stripped away, Simon proves to be brilliant, passionate, compassionate, and intensely loyal to the memory of his dead wife. Understandably, the scholarly Ivy is drawn to him like a magnet to a lodestone!

���With a startled glance over her shoulder she discovered Lord Harrow staring across the way at her over a pair of gold rimmed spectacles perched halfway down the strong line of his nose. She hadn���t seen him wear spectacles before and found herself fascinated by the myriad contradictions they produced. He was at once scholarly and dashing, rakish and brilliant, a professor with the vigor and physique of a sportsman��� " (the self-professed geek now fans herself.)

In addition to the wonderful characterizations and sexual magnetism between her hero and heroine, Ms. Chase has vividly brought to life the imagination and innovation of the Victorian period. While some of the scenes in this book are truly fantastical, they still bring to mind the wonderful discoveries and inventions that were born of the Victorian era.

While the premise of the book is supposed to be a mystery, I found this part to be the weakest. It was predictable, but the charming and emotionally compelling romance, seemed to make up for any failing in that area.

For me, the well-researched and unique scientific setting made OUTRAGEOUSLY YOURS an "electrifying" read. 3.5 stars.