Nathaniel Gresham, the handsome Viscount Hargove, lives a life devoted to familial duty. As his father’s eldest son, Nathaniel’s identity remains the “heir to the Duke of Langford.” But this quiet, restrained life changes the minute he marries sweet Lady Violet Devere.
Oppressed by her family all her life, Violet is longing for her marriage vows to be spoken. Though her arranged marriage to Nathaniel was not a match made for love, they’re both looking forward to the comparative freedom of married life. And Violet is determined to show Nathaniel how to enjoy it, both in and out of the bedroom.
This book was getting such terrible reviews, I didn’t know if I wanted to read it. However, I was curious enough to try the sample, and then luck hit and I received a review copy. Free? Might as well give it a go.
Perhaps because of my lowered standards, I enjoyed this more than I expected to. Certainly, there’re problems throughout, and for a book marketed as historical romance, the romance is far from the focus, but I liked a few things.
The setting, for example. Even though Brighton is constantly mentioned in Regency era books, it is hardly ever visited. So I found that really refreshing. I also actually enjoyed that there was a lot of other stuff going on. You read so many historical romances and after a while everything seems to read the same. So I didn’t mind that this wasn’t exactly a grand romance. In fact, it read like a more realistic aristocratic marriage of the era.
I know I tend to be in the minority about period-appropriate behaviour. People don’t want aristocratic marriages in romances to REALLY be like they were because they don’t see it as romantic enough. I tend to enjoy it more when I can imagine the relationship evolving more realistically.
It is true that the title doesn’t have much to do with the story. Yes, the hero is the heir to a duke, but the book is tipped in the heroine’s direction, and is much more about her coming to terms with her past and her future than it is about him.
I was NOT thrilled with the way random plotlines kept turning up, and random stuff kept happening. For example, for no reason whatsoever, a character goes insane, turns into a stalker, and shoots someone. In another scene, a crazed maid runs into the room to declare a big secret at the EXACT moment the heroine was about to do the same. People have personality transplants, and nobody seems to end up like the character they were in the beginning.
A note: ‘the old woman spit out at last’ = incorrect. Try SPAT!
I can see that I enjoyed aspects of this book much more than most readers did. I suppose you could try the sample and decide for yourself if it’s a style you can get along with.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.