Capitol Theater, Book #2.5
Heat Factor: Had me raising my eyebrows
Character Chemistry: Too short for enough development to buy it
Plot: Fake Relationship → Real Relationship
This quick read squeaks in as a Christmas book riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight at the end. Caroline’s brother gives her a “gift” a few weeks before Christmas, which leads to Caroline giving Andrew a gift about two weeks before Christmas, which leads to Andrew giving Caroline a gift on Christmas… HEA! Before any of this happens, pretty much the whole story happens.
Okay. So. Andrew is the heir to the Earldom of Rochester, and his father is dying. His father is so horrible that Andrew has spent his entire adult life being as horrible as he can possibly be so as to live down to his father’s expectations. Andrew’s dying father decides to will away all his wealth, so Andrew will inherit the Earldom and the entailed estates, but he’ll have no money to pay for them. As one does, Andrew decides to pretend to court a proper miss to make his father think he’s walking the straight and narrow. His father doesn’t buy it.
Caroline Hargreaves is so prim and proper she’s become a spinster. She’s also his friend’s sister, and his friend is SUPER in debt, so he can blackmail her into helping him when she at first balks. Which she does, because why would she help a greedy man she has no respect for?
Of course, sparks fly and Andrew is reformed and Caroline has never felt this way about anyone before and IS ANDREW’S DAD GOING TO BUY IT? Caroline makes all the difference!
Here are some thoughts as you consider this novella to pass some of your free time:
- The story takes place over the course of several months, which I love for relationship development. But in a book this short, it really breezes past all of the actual development of their relationship. We’re told of what happens, but we don’t really get to see it happening, so the chemistry doesn’t build.
- Lisa Kleypas just loves adding random twists so there’s one plot issue in the first part of the book and another in the second. This one fits better than some, but… WAT.
- There are two sex scenes. Neither was particularly satisfying: the former because it had me raising my brows with concern and the latter because it seemed shunted in. It’s a romance novel, but more focus on the emotional aspects of the relationship would have done better.
- Andrew as a person is awesome redeemed but pretty gross beforehand. Yeah, yeah, blame it on the angst, Andrew. Your horrible childhood = reprehensible adult behavior. All I’m saying is, Andrew is not coming up roses, and if you have a hard time with the whole “changing a man for the better” hero notion, you’ll probably really struggle with this one.
Buy Now: Amazon
More recommendations you say? Why yes, we can do that.