In all fairness to the author, I feel I must disclose up front that A. I only read this book, because I got it free at RT and B. this is not my sort of genre. This is a true “bodice ripper.” I was desperate one night while in Ohio, and this was the only book that I didn’t have to run out to the car for. So, please forgive me if I’m a little harsh.
The Truth About Lord Stoneville is the first in a series about five un-married siblings living in a three hundred room mansion in England. The time period is late 1700’s. The siblings’ grandmother is tired of her grandchildren behaving scandalously, and she wants them to settle down and produce heirs. In order to force her grandchildren into doing what she wants, the grandmother vows to cut them off financially and disinherit them unless they marry within one year. The oldest sibling, Lord Stoneville tries to call his grandmother’s bluff by finding the most unsuitable woman he can to pose as his fiancé in the hopes his grandmother will relent. His plan backfires when the grandmother does not budge and he ends up falling in love with his pretend fiancé, Maria.
Let me start with the novel’s good points. I like the concept. I can see how a five book series, each highlighting one of the siblings on their journey to the altar, will work. I also like the characters – each strong-willed and bucking the yoke of societal custom in their various ways.
Now, for the things that I thought could have been improved. It seemed to me that the voice was off. The book read like a contemporary American story, not a historical English one. I’m not saying the author should have written the accents in, that would have been annoying, but the tone and voice of the narration needed to be more authentic. I also did not find the sex scenes to be believable. A virginal maiden who is engaged to someone else is not going to allow a stranger to finger-bang her in his coach while riding through town. She was just too easy and convenient. It would have been sexier if we saw more of her inner struggle and his persuasion techniques. It is not enough for him to be hot looking.
Overall, I give The Truth About Lord Stoneville…
Compelling Plot – 2 bookmarks
Character Development – 2 bookmarks (hero was better than heroine)
Sex Scenes – 1 bookmark
Historical Accuracy/Setting – 1 bookmark
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Sienna Miller (Maria), One of the creepy Fabios from RT (Lord Stoneville)
Likeliness that I will re-read the book – None. I gave the book away the day I finished it. For those of you who are familiar with my book hoarding, you will appreciate the significance of me giving a book away.