ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange of an honest review
This is the story of Lady Grace Carpenter and her tortured love affair with the Earl of Worthington. So, when she first came out, Grace had a crush on the debonair Earl who, unfortunately, like most young men was not interested in women-the marrying kind that is. Now, after so many years when she bumps into him at a secluded, snowed-in inn, she no longer has the luxury of being able to marry. Therefore, she decides to have a one night stand that will ‘last her for the rest of her life’. The worthy Earl however has different ideas at this point of time in life. He is sure he has finally met the woman he is meant to marry and starts out in pursuit of her. What follows is the pursuit, the indecision, the reconciling, and other steps in the general happy ending direction.
I must here reiterate that I am a fan of historical fiction and romance. I love the characters, the dry humour that most authors will strive towards, the dyspeptic aunts, the forgetful uncles, the villians, the heroes that are so full of themselves and the heroines who are determined to be bull-headed at the best of times. However, as much as I like strong women characters, I cannot abide stupid ones. So, when Grace decides that the one night stand will satisfy her for the rest of her life and ‘cunningly’ withholds her real name from the Earl, she believes she is safe from ever bumping into him again. This is just before she is going up to London for her sister’s season. Are you serious? If he were just about to sail away on a trip around the world or she had been a recluse on a country estate, one would think she had a point. As it is, I was ‘off’ her from the very first chapters. I actually felt for the poor Earl, who turns out to be a nice honourable man, bewildered by the woman’s determination to disappear behind glass walls.
Also, every time she hears about some rumour or gossip about herself, she faints! I don’t know who found that act cute but it certainly wasn’t me. And it isn’t a one off thing unfortunately, she does it over and over again. She also has monumental doubts regarding her true feelings about Matt and is also given to believing the worst before it even happens. There are umpteen number of love scenes in the book for those inclined towards that side of romance, but I just skipped over them all. But I do that in almost every romance novel so they may actually have been good.
Her brothers and sisters as well the Earl’s siblings seem like more fun at this point. They are portrayed just as little kids should be and seem to genuinely care for there hair-brained sister’s welfare. The Earl is extremely patient and kind and seems to care for her deeply. A side plot of an evil uncle was funny as were the shenanigans of Matt’s friends.
All in all, the book was a big disappointment to me. Some, not so cynical as me and probably a hundred times more rosy eyed, may find it better and I would wish them the best of it. From my point of view, one may skip it without feeling too much of a pinch.