Series: The Dukes of War
Author: Erica Ridley
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: June 1, 2015
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
When Major Bartholomew Blackpool learns the girl-next-door from his childhood will be forced into an unwanted marriage, he returns home to play her pretend beau. He figures now that he's missing a leg, a faux fiancée is the best an ex-soldier can get. He admires her pluck, but the lady deserves a whole man—and he'll ensure she gets one.
Miss Daphne Vaughan hates that crying off will destroy Major Blackpool's chances of finding a real bride. She plots to make him jilt her first. Who cares if it ruins her? She never wanted a husband anyway. But the major is equally determined that she break the engagement. With both of them on their worst behavior, neither expects their fake betrothal to lead to love...
***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***
What happened? Where was the comedy? Where were great characters? Where was the great plot and narrative flow I've come to expect in this series?
I'm sorry to say, this was the worst story so far. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what it could (and should) have been. Both the hero and heroine were annoying. I know Bartholomew's been dealt a shitty hand, but he went a little too far in feeling sorry for himself. He came through as selfish, only thinking of himself, believing he's the only one with rotten luck. Daphne was his perfect match in feeling sorry for herself, but for entirely different, yet also selfish reasons. No one cared about her, no one wanted her, everybody left. People die, so they leave, it's the circle of life, but if you want someone to care, you have to give them a reason to. She never bothered. And then, it turned out, she was doing all her goody-goody work for selfish reasons as well, because she wanted people to know she was doing it, she wanted people to care about her and not about her projects. Sheesh. And she kept pushing people away when they wanted to help (Bartholomew, Katherine...), because she wanted to do it all one her own. For herself, not for the others.
I just couldn't empathize with the two of them, I couldn't relate to them, since I didn't really care about them. They were two selfish, self-centered, egotistical individuals that sort of happened to like each other, be attracted to one another, and ended up being in love. Meh.
I much preferred the secondary characters in this one, and the glimpse into the beginning of the next story. I loved Daphne's friend, Katherine, and I hope she'll find her match in the last book in the series, whose title suggests it's bout a duke. ;) And I'm looking forward to the next story in the series that starts with the wedding of the Duke of Ravenwood who's pretty much given up on marrying for love in order to give Sarah Fairfax the respectability after her fiancé, Bartholomew's brother, knocked her up and went to die in war. I truly hope the dead guy is a step up from his brother.