Saturday, May 16, 2020

67. Misleading the Duke

Misleading a Duke (The Wallflowers of West Lane #2) A.S. Fenichel. 2020. [September] 304 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The home of Geb Arafa, a mile outside of London The last person Nicholas Ellsworth expected to find at his good friend Geb Arafa’s dinner party was Lady Faith Landon. Yet there she was, Nicholas’s fiancée, maddeningly pretty and equally aggravating. She fit perfectly with the lush décor and priceless artifacts in Geb’s parlor.

Premise/plot: Misleading a Duke is the second book in the series. The heroine of this one is Faith Landon; the hero is Nicholas Ellsworth, Duke of Breckenridge. The two are engaged before the novel opens, but not happily engaged. Apparently a good bit of their story is told in book one--though I don't think Faith is the main character of book one? Long story short, it's an arranged marriage and Faith doesn't want to marry a stranger. Since he is not as forthcoming as she would like him to be, she sets out to manipulate him into a situation where there really isn't much of an escape: a secluded country home with just two or three servants. But unfortunately for them all his past isn't just haunting him emotionally but quite physically leading to a dangerous, hostile situation where all their lives are endangered. Will this couple live long enough to wed?

My thoughts: Are plots necessary to smutty romance novels? Is characterization a must? Would I find the characterization completely lacking if I'd read book one? Would I find their romance more believable if I'd read it from start to finish instead of middle to finish? Perhaps. Though I will say this, whether I'd read book one or not...I would find the graphic what-goes-where-ness of this novel to be not to my taste or preference. That's me. I get that. I completely and totally get that every romance reader has their preference: completely clean, mostly clean at least until the 'I do's', a bit off-screen but obvious, a few scenes in graphic detail BUT plenty of characterization and story and wit and charm, graphic details and the plot and characters are of secondary importance, a LOT of graphic details and names don't matter as there isn't any bother at all about making heroes and heroines at all unique. It's not my job to judge other readers for their personal preference as far as smut level is concerned. This may be a five star read for other readers. But for me, it definitely is not. If anything it proves how stubborn this reader can be that I'll finish just about anything no matter how much it's not working for me. Is that a good thing? a bad thing? a thing thing?

I will definitely not be reading other books by this author now that I know her idea of romance. But check out other reviews (higher reviews) to see if her books might work for you. 

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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