My rating: 2.5/3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: 10/1/18
This is the debut novel for this author and I sort of like the premise of father and son competing for the same potential bride. However, I found it to be a bit trite and the writing a bit stilted. I also found the time placement to be Georgian rather than Regency since the book mentions the ‘Newly Founded Metropolitan Police’ that wasn’t founded until 1829. To me, it is a little too much fairy tale and not enough believable story. My rating was going to be 2.0 to 2.5, but, because it has an epilogue and I love epilogues, I rated it at a 3.
Rowena Lockhart is the only child of Baron and Baroness Lockhart. Her parents are aloof, disinterested, uncaring and often cruel. While her mother is overtly unfeeling and cruel, her father tries to seem as if he is more caring, but only yielding to his wife. However, it takes two of them to do what they have done. Rowena is nineteen and I fail to understand why she hasn’t been on the marriage mart for the last year or two – especially as much as her mother values rank and privilege. Now, the Barony is in deep financial trouble and they are basically selling Rowena off to the highest bidder. Of course, nowhere is it mentioned that she can, by law, refuse to marry that highest bidder. She doesn’t even seem to look for any way to really save herself – she just dreams of rescue.
Elliot Spencer is the only son and heir to Bartholomew Spencer, the Duke of Darrington, and they are polar opposites. The Duke is a slovenly, unmannerly brute who doesn’t seem overly smart and Elliott is smart, nice, even-tempered, well dressed and mannerly. For a long time, the Duke has been after Elliott, who is thirty, to marry, but Elliott hasn’t found anyone who interests him. He wants to find someone to love before he marries.
The Duke announces – out of the blue – that he thinks he will marry a young woman and sire a new heir because Elliot is unmanly and doesn’t even know what to do with a woman if he had one. Well – the laws of primogeniture don’t allow you to just choose a new heir. He could have disinherited Elliot and left all of the unentailed property and money to another heir, but the title and entailed property would still go to Elliot. Anyway – that whole gambit could have just been left out.
Rowena and Elliot met near an enchanting little cottage while out walking in the woods. They had a nice conversation but never introduced themselves. Each was constantly thinking about the other though. Each found out who the other was when Rowena was brought to the ducal residence to have dinner with the duke. Elliot certainly had a great deal of sympathy for Rowena and they made plans to meet again at the cottage.
Anyway – they meet and talk and fall in love. When Rowena’s mother suspects and locks her in her tower room, there is no hope for escape – either from the tower or the marriage to the Duke. Elliot makes an inept hero at best and Rowena seems hopeless as well. So, you have to introduce a third party as the hero(ine).
While I’m not a fan of the retelling of fairy tales, I didn’t allow that to color my rating. I think this writer has potential, but I just didn’t think this book lived up to that. I hope you’ll enjoy it if you decide to read it.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”