Reviewed by May
Favorite quote: Genevieve dropped onto the chair, air rushing out of her. She felt shaken, on uncertain ground. Myles her brother’s best friend was not necessarily the same man as Myles her husband, and she was not quite sure how to deal with him. What to say. What to think.
Genevieve Stafford has long been engaged to a man she barely tolerates, but she is determined to marry well and make strong alliance for her family to help their reputation as her brother recently had a slightly scandalous (but true love) match. Unfortunately someone seems to be scheming and trying to bring harm to her, and she finds herself in a compromising position as well as shoved into a hasty marriage with her brother’s long time friend Sir Myles Thorwood.
Myles offers the match freely, in fact it is his idea in order to save her reputation and keep her from a life shunned by society. He then sets about the job of wooing his very innocent and reluctant wife.
I love a marriage of convenience, and I adore the kind of heroine who will punch a man trying to assault her right in the nose, groin, or whatever else it takes. I went into this book expecting an excellent read, and instead I’m sorry to say I found nothing to like.
For me this was one of those books where nothing quite worked. The heroine flip flops from this fearless amazing woman to this shy innocent girl, she’s scared of love – no wait she’s scared of nothing! She wants to do right by her family, no wait she will do what she damn well pleases! I found her exhausting and because of all the changing of her actions it was incredibly difficult to like her.
Meanwhile the hero is the cookie cutter best friend of older brother who’s a bit of a rake and has had scores of affairs and is therefore very skilled as a lover. Of course now that he’s found his lady wife he devotes himself entirely to her.
One of the real problems for me is the plot. Alright so somebody set her up and it killed her engagement. She should be happy, because she was going to marry a seriously boring and proper guy who would make her life miserable. What I don’t get is that our happy couple get married and go off to Myles’ home, but when they realize “oh, gee, maybe somebody set up that whole scene that broke up the other engagement and got us to marry in haste” they decide to race back to London and figure it all out.
Um… why? They are happy, healthy, getting along famously, having wild sex all over, and fully in the glow of newlywed bliss. So what if somebody set her up to be caught with another man alone? What would figuring this out matter?
When I finished the book, I still didn’t think leaving the bliss of the country to figure out “whodunit” paid off in any way. I was just grateful to be done.
I feel like I’m being exceptionally harsh on this book, and I feel bad for that. The writing wasn’t terrible, just a bit long winded and slow paced for what was being done in the story. Camp does generally have a nice voice and I’ve enjoyed some of her previous works I just could not get past how dull both the plot and characters were in this one. For me none of it was compelling; just mildly interesting.
If you want a sweet, very couple/character focused historical romance with a doting husband of convenience turned love match, perhaps this book will be for you.