Never Fall For Your Fiancee by Virginia Heath
Published November 9th 2021 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Date read: November 30, 2021
Minerva’s sisters Diana and V
The Plot (from Goodreads):
The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, ever wants is a wife. Unfortunately for him, his mother is determined to find him one, even from across the other side of the ocean. So, Hugh invents a fake fiancée to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay. But when Hugh learns his interfering mother is on a ship bound for England, he realizes his complicated, convoluted but convenient ruse is about to implode. Until he collides with a beautiful woman, who might just be the miracle he needs.
Minerva Merriwell has had to struggle to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since their feckless father abandoned them. Work as a woodcut engraver is few and far between, and the Merriwell sisters are nearly penniless. So, when Hugh asks Minerva to pose as his fiancée while his mother is visiting, she knows that while the scheme sounds ludicrous, the offer is too good to pass up.
Once Minerva and her sisters arrive at Hugh’s estate, of course, nothing goes according to his meticulous plan. As hilarity and miscommunication ensue, while everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight, Hugh and Minerva’s fake engagement starts to turn into a real romance. But can they trust each other, when their relationship started with a lie?
Thank you to the publisher for a gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.
I believe this is the first historical romance I’ve read. I don’t like historical fiction in general, so I’ve avoided the historical side of romance up until now. Honestly, it’s still not my favorite genre. While the period setting is interesting, I obviously can’t relate to it so I have trouble connecting with the characters. It’s always worth it to try new things, though! My tastes have certainly changed over the years, so I try to read books in an atypical genre every so often just in case.
With that in mind, take my review with a grain of salt. I’m sure fans of historical romance will like it a lot more than I did!
What I liked: Payne! He was clever and funny, kind to Minerva and her sisters, and deserved to be more than the butler. By far the best character. I loved when he told Hugh he was being an idiot.
What I didn’t: It seemed like a lot of this book was Hugh not being able to word what he was feeling, and Minerva getting mad at him instead of letting him explain. I just wanted to shake them and force them to have a real conversation! Too much of the book was taken up by their half-talking, misunderstanding, and then switching POVs to show the misunderstanding.
V was very annoying. She acted ten, not seventeen. I wanted to smack her in every scene she was in. They kept calling her their “baby sister”, but aren’t women in this time period supposed to be getting married at seventeen??
They really drew out this “scandalous family past” and hatred of Hugh’s father. I appreciate that it added some depth to the Standish family, but it lasted too long and I nearly lost interest.
Overall, I’m sure fans of historical fiction will love this book, but the genre just isn’t for me.
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