Tuesday, May 29, 2018

ARC Review: How to Forget a Duke by Vivienne Lorret

Series:Misadventures in Matchmaking #1
Pub. Date:May 29, 2018
Length:384 pages

How to Forget a Duke is the first installment of Vivienne Lorret's new series, Misadventure in Matchmaking. The series focuses around three sisters and their indulgent uncle, who allows the girls to run the Bourne Matrimonial Agency. Just take a gander at that beautiful cover - it totally sucked me right in and had me wanting to read this story.

Our hero of this first installment is Crispin Montague, fifth Duke of Rydstrom. First of all - that is a GREAT name. I just loved it. Unfortunately, Crispin is broke and in need of an heiress whose funds he may use to repair the ducal estate, Whitcrest. Though he is not interested in a love match - he needs an uninterested wife who will not want to live with him at Whitcrest and discover his secrets. I liked Crispin. He was no-nonsense, responsible, and honorable. He was also engaging in some self-condemnation for his guilt over his parent's death and his sisters future prospects. I would have liked to know more about him, though most of the story was focused on the heroine.

So Jacinda Bourne, the horrid heroine - a moniker she earned from the first page and could not shake for the entirety of the story. I loathed her. So. Much. She was a meddlesome bit of baggage. She was nosy to the extreme, and thought she had the right to dip into diaries, pilfer property, and snoop snoop snoop. I was actually excited for her to get amnesia, thinking that would resolve some of her horrible personality traits. But don't hold your breath, it didn't work! Trying to shape this affliction as insatiable curiosity just didn't work for me. I was hoping she would fall off the cliff and a new heroine would take her place. Sigh.

The relationship between these two pokes along. Because I hated Jacinda so much, I really couldn't get behind the match. But with Jacinda sneaking around all the time, and Crispin trying to protect his secret, there wasn't enough honest communication to build up the relationship, at least in my view. 

For the positives (besides Crispin), I liked many of the secondary characters. Crispin's sister was tragic and endearing. The servants and well-wishing villagers added a light fun element to the story. And even Jacinda's sisters and uncle seemed to have much better personality traits (at least from their brief appearance in the story). Shockingly, there was a character who sometimes surpassed Jacinda in making my lip curl, and that was Crispin's Aunt Hortense. Though her undesirability faded much faster than Jacinda's, I still wasn't a fan.

I enjoy Lorret's writing style, and I have no complaints about the actual writing in this story. This was just the case of a character that I could not get along with. It happens.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Avon.

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