Themes: Adult, historical romance
The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, ever wants is a wife. Unfortunately for him, his mother is determined to find him one, even from across the other side of the ocean. So, Hugh invents a fake fiancée to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay. But when Hugh learns his interfering mother is on a ship bound for England, he realizes his complicated, convoluted but convenient ruse is about to implode. Until he collides with a beautiful woman, who might just be the miracle he needs.
Minerva Merriwell has had to struggle to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since their feckless father abandoned them. Work as a woodcut engraver is few and far between, and the Merriwell sisters are nearly penniless. So, when Hugh asks Minerva to pose as his fiancée while his mother is visiting, she knows that while the scheme sounds ludicrous, the offer is too good to pass up.
Once Minerva and her sisters arrive at Hugh’s estate, of course, nothing goes according to his meticulous plan. As hilarity and miscommunication ensue, while everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight, Hugh and Minerva’s fake engagement starts to turn into a real romance. But can they trust each other, when their relationship started with a lie?
What do you do when you have been telling everything about your fiancée to your mother and that she is now coming to meet her? You find a false one of course!
This romance changed me a bit from others I have read in the past in the sense that the hero was not being a dick with the heroine, despite their difference in social status and characters. And thanks to that, I enjoyed all the interactions between Hugh and Minerva and the ones between her sister and Hugh’s friend (sorry I totally forgot their names 😂). The character that annoyed me, because we obviously need one, was the youngest sister who was acting like the spoiled brat she was (but I have to say that it was in line with her history). Apart from liking the chemistry of our main cast, I felt that for once there was a real plot to support the romance. First, you have the all scheme of the false fiancée and Hugh’s lies to his mother but there are also side plots with Hugh’s personal issues (which explain why he doesn’t want to find a wife) and the girl’s personal situation.
In brief: It was a very nice historical romance, not too void of a plot, with likeable characters, a good chemistry and an efficient setting in the Regency era. Perfect for Bridgerton’s fans!
My rating: 4/5
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