Wenna by Virginia Taylor (South Landers #4)
Released: January 17, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
Wenna is a lady’s maid who has the unfortunate circumstance of getting her lace caught in a man’s trousers, making it look like she is a hussy rather than a proper maid. Her employer is rude and mean to her as it is, so getting fired might not be the worst thing in the world – except for the fact she has no reference letter and hardly any money. Her goal in life is to leave Australia, and make it to Cornwall, England where her grandparents live. She sends them money every month but she wants to be there physically to care for them. She turns to the man who caused all these problems to help her fix it.
Devon wants to help Wenna who was fired unfairly and starts to develop a plan. Devon left England to escape duty. As a third son, he didn’t think the title would ever fall to him – but now with two dead brothers he is needed back in England to take over responsibilities. Devon hates his father for not allowing him to marry a red-headed dairy maid years ago. When he sees Wenna, a red-headed lady’s maid…he thinks presenting her to his father as his wife would be amazing. He also needs an heir – so he proposes a marriage of convenience to Wenna – he would get an heir and she would get the promise from him to take her back to Cornwall once he has enough money. She doesn’t know about his title waiting for him in England – she thinks he is a laborer in Australia. He doesn’t know she is secretly trying to prevent pregnancy with a sponge, until she is certain he has enough money to get her back to England.
I went back and forth with this story. I liked Wenna – she is high-spirited, stubborn, and doesn’t let Devon get away with much. A marriage of convenience suits them both, but she knows Devon is handsome and charming and knows how to charm his way into and out of many situations in life. While I feel like they become quite familiar with each other quickly in this book, there is also a lot of time for them to learn everything about the other. While they both need to get to Cornwall, this book takes place in Australia and not a ton of things happen. After they get married, the book slows down and I honestly got a little bored.
Devon at times rubbed me the wrong way. I love a marriage of convenience trope when there is awkwardness between the hero and heroine once they get married. Devon though – he would fantasize about his lost dairy maid, Jenny – and the fact that the dairy maid and Wenna both looked similar and the fact he wanted to drag Wenna in front of his father to say – “Haha! Look what I did” – made me feel weird. Also their sex – Wenna is scared and not into it at first – and Devon doesn’t rush her or force her, but he would think things like this:
He paused for a moment, fascinated by her lovely coloring, so familiar, so like Jenny’s. Wenna, however, was Jenny’s polar opposite in every single way. Wenna was greedy in bed rather than loving. When he couldn’t have the second, he would settle for the first. However, he enjoyed her boldness, and the way she would take the pleasure she wanted.
Who wants a hero who settles? Although – this is earlier in their relationship but still. I just didn’t like the comparison. I also felt that Wenna wasn’t greedy in bed or reveled in taking all the pleasure. I felt that didn’t describe her well.
At times I felt Devon crossed the unromantic line that I have for heroes who marry for convenience – there has to be that pull to the heroine – even if the hero tries to fight it – an undeniable pull that he can’t control.
These two do fall in love, but it was slow getting there and at times, Devon rubbed me the wrong way.