Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Review: The Viscount's Bride by Ann Elizabeth Cree

A Regency-set historical romance, this book is fairly substantially different than the back cover copy describes. I only mention this because I think other readers, like me, expect books to have more than a passing resemblance to their jacket copy and this one comes perilously close to nto doing so. It is also a sequel, although that is not noted on the book and a lack of knowledge of the previous story did leave me at a bit of a disadvantage, although as is the case with most romances written today, it stood alone well enough aside from a few references to backstory. This is the story of Chloe, who is visiting her late brother's wife and her new husband at teh same time Brandt, Lord Salcombe, her chief nemesis. She spends much of her time during the visit either sparring a little peevishly with Brandt or trying to determine if the local lord, who is a safe and friendly sort, is the man for her. When Chloe's guardian writes to tell her of his plans to marry her off to a disgusting, old reprobate, Chloe decides that the time has come to force Sir Preston's hand and she manages to find herself in a compromising situation with him, not that any sparks fly or that anything untoward happens. At this point a whole comedy of errors ensues, leading to Chloe's engagement not to Sir Preston but to Brandt, Lord Salcombe, who might turn out to be the perfect man for her in the end. The story is a light and fluffy bit of fleeting entertainment that didn't turn out to be terribly memorable as I had to flip back through the book in order to write this review. I didn't love the immature heroine who went from self-involved to consciously caring of others' feelings in the space of a paragraph and I wondered at the chemistry between the main characters. Not the best romance I've read but not the worst either.

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