Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.
Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she’ll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.
Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?
Having read the other books in this series, I became a fan of Kristi Ann Hunter. First, because I love regency novels; second, because she wasn’t super predictable; and third because she fashioned together a group of family and friends that made me want to read more. I was so looking forward to Griffith’s story. And while this story make work for some people, for me it was incredibly disappointing. My thoughts:
Griffith. I have liked Griffith from his first introduction. I only liked him more in this book. You learn what makes him tick and why he makes the decisions that he makes. Even though he was the hero of the book, I found myself completely identifying with him and his problems. I love that he thinks things through, that if he didn’t know the answer he sought out guidance, and that he was a planner. I was so excited to see him fall in love!
The idea of Isabella. Griffith needed a woman who he least expected. In theory, Isabella could have been that woman.
Secondary characters. I loved Griffith’s whole family. Sometimes series can get annoying if they reach too much into previous books, but every moment with Griffith’s family felt right…and they added a lot of humor to the novel.
Spiritually, the characters pray and seek God for guidance and wisdom.
What didn’t work
Isabella. I’m not sure where to begin, but here goes: Isabella is in London for the season because she is, essentially, being blackmailed by her uncle. When you learn why, if you’re anything like me, you will say that is completely ridiculous. I didn’t buy it. I’ve read so many regency novels and I’ve never heard of a situation like this. It made no sense to me. I was mad confused for a third of the book because I kept expecting something else to be the problem. To that fact, I think Isabella was confused. It made for a story that I just didn’t buy and thus I was not committed as a reader.
Secrets. Then, Isabella could have, of course, solved all of her problems by confiding her situation to the right people. Does she do this? No, because then the book would have been over. Thus, Isabella became an unlikeable character to me. It felt like she was dragging out a situation that could have been resolved in minutes. Towards the end of the book I found myself agreeing with her and saying ‘no, you don’t deserve the duke.’
Predictable. I liked this author for her unpredictability. But once I realized that Isabella was going to keep her secrets no matter what, I knew exactly how the novel was going to play out.
Romance. I just wish that Isabella and Griffith could have worked together instead of working on the same problem from different angles. It would have made their romance seem more concrete. Instead, they spend most of the novel with this problem between them that didn’t have to be there. From a romance perspective, not a lot of romance is happening when people are trying to solve a problem. Instead you get a whole lot of running away and scenes that don’t make sense.
Romantic scale: 7
Overall, some people will read this book and really like it. Unfortunately, I was not one of them.
**I received a copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**