Author: Julia Quinn
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: May 25, 2010
Annabel Winslow is in a pickle. Having newly arrived in London for her first season and being in possession of a voluptuous figure, is being openly courted the the Earl of Newbury, who is at least 75 and a nasty brute to boot. Annabel does not want to marry him, of course, but feels that she has no choice since her father has recently died and left the whole family, including Annabel's mother her 7 siblings, almost destitute.
Then, while attending a party in the countryside, Annabel met Sebastian Grey, the Earl of Newbury's nephew. And suddenly she found herself not only courted by the lecherous uncle, but also the charming young nephew. Should she follow her heart so that she can be with the one she loves, or should she marry the loathsome earl just so she can put food on the table for her family and make sure that her brothers get to stay in school?
I must be out of the JQ “loop”, because I didn’t enjoy this one as much as some of the Bridgertons series. It simply didn’t pull me in. The story worked too hard at being funny so at times it turned silly, and that “humor” clashed too heavily with the dramatic parts of the plot. The two counterparts weren’t in harmony and it bothered me, making the story appear choppy, and severely hampering the pacing.
Also, the two main characters didn’t do anything for me. They were rather bland, dull even at times, and there was definitely too much inner musing going on. The only saving grace in the character department were Olivia, wife of Sebastian’s cousin, Annabel’s cousin Louisa, and Annabel’s grandmother (especially in her very last scene – now that was funny).
Taking everything in consideration, I cannot but give it the medium rating. There were parts that were good, and parts that weren’t that good. The most bothersome being the discordance between humor and seriousness.