A last book by a beloved author had me feeling all kinds of sentimental and predisposed to love this one. A sibling challenge, a fiery unconventional heroine, and a melancholy hero were mildly engaging.
As I said, this was a swan song book by an author I have been reading her books for over two decades. With a little connection to her Company of Rogues world, I happily looked for the cameos that were there. I enjoyed the redoubtable Dowager Countess of Cawle and another visit with Mr. Peake as strong side characters. A visit with the Major and Blanche in on scene and the older generation. The pall of the Princess Charlotte’s death in child birth offered the historical backdrop.
Now, as to my thoughts on the story’s plot and characters. I really don’t want to say this, but at best I was mildly engaged with this book. It was boring. There, I said it. I didn’t care for the heroine very much, the premise was weak for me, and the romance was nearly none existent while much of the book was waiting for something interesting to happen.
The premise revolves around the heroine, Ariana, panicking that her brother has no heir (he’s 23, by the way) and the family will lose the estate if he dies young (not the family wealth just the estate so this isn’t about survival). So she attempts to bully him into marriage. He gives that a ‘you first’ reply. So the story is her willing to merc herself out to any eligible bachelor of society even a marriage where she can barely tolerate a guy just to keep her father’s collectibles and a house in the family. Yeah, I really wasn’t buying it. And in the process, I did find her a bully who stuck her nose in where it didn’t belong and formed short-sighted, prejudiced opinions. And what in the Sam Hill was it with the being tall thing. I swear a fourth of this book was about her height and everyone else’s. It was like a fetish.
But the last nail in the coffin was the lack of romantic development. It was just not there. She crushed, she squirmed with attraction, and they fought a lot mostly because her observation and decision-making skills were squat, but there was no chemistry or solid evidence of love. They didn’t even share much scene time if they weren’t fighting.
So, I finished this one because I respected the author, but didn’t more than mildly enjoy the story. It’s an okay historical romance for me.
Romance Roundabout #140 HR
Literary Pickers #112 signet ring
New Release #71e
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