Frances Hadley has managed her family’s estate for years. So why can’t she request her own dowry? She’ll have to go to London herself and knock some sense into the men interfering in her life. With the nonsense she’s dealt with lately, though, there’s no way she’s going as a woman. A pair of breeches and a quick chop of her red curls, and she’ll have much less to worry about…
Jack Valentine, third son of the famous Duchess of Love, is through being pursued by pushy young ladies. One particularly determined miss has run him out of his own house party. Luckily the inn has one bed left—Jack just has to share with a rather entertaining red-headed youth. Perhaps the two of them should ride to London together. It will make a pleasant escape from his mother’s matchmaking melodrama!
My Rating: 3/5
A cute and sweet book, but it had it's problems. It was really just one major issue, but that issue really kept me from liking this book as much as I could have...
I really liked the idea for this book. Though not completely original, it was fun and bound to be interesting. And it was.
Lord Jack was so adorable. I loved him so much. Though he has a reputation as a rake, he only uses that to hide his home for orphans and downtrodden women. He was so sweet and determined to protect everyone that he could and just so amazing-I loved everything about him. And I think others will love him as well.
Frances was a problem. On one hand, I liked that she was strong and determined enough to dress up as a boy and go after her rightful inheritance. On the other, she was so mean! And for no good reason. She was suspicious and judgmental and jumped to conclusions. For example, when she finds out that Jack has a home for orphans, guess what she thinks. Not 'oh, isn't is great that he runs an orphans home and treats them all so well.' No, she thinks that he uses the home as a cover for all of his illegitimate children and then judges him even more than she already had for it. Seriously? And it kept going on like this. Jack never gave her a reason to be this mean, he was always the perfect gentleman. It just made me so mad. She was a total shrew. Even when she gets over herself and realizes how wrong she was about Jack, it was way too late in the book to save face. I just didn't like her character. And when I don't like the main character, it's impossible for me to truly love the book.
The only reason I supported Frances and Jack as a couple was because I wanted Jack to be happy. He really saved the book for me. I didn't like Frances, but because Jack loved her-for some reason that I can't begin to comprehend-I rooted for them and was happy when they-mainly Jack-got their happy ending.
The plot was the other part of the book that really saved it. It moved quickly and the murder mystery was fantastically done. The culprit was someone I never would have guessed. And the ending was a nice and happy romance ending.
I feel like I could have easily adored this book. If only Frances had been more likable. Everything else was wonderful: the love interest, the plot, the ending. But I couldn't truly like the book if I spent half the time wanted to shake some sense into the heroine. So, unfortunately, this didn't turn out to be such a great book for me.
But to any romance lover, if you don't mind dealing with a less-than-likable heroine to get to the good parts of the book, I would still recommend trying it out. Just proceed with caution.
*Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington for a copy!
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Denise Domning's Best Selling Medieval Series in a box set.
Winter's Heat, winner of Romantic Time's Best First Historical 1994
A Love for All Seasons
A Love for All Seasons