*Book 1 in Byrons of Braebourne series*
Orphaned beauty Meg Amberley never planned to pose as Lord Cade Byron’s fiancée. Caught in a snowstorm, she takes refuge at his estate. Stranded together, Meg soon finds herself falling under Cade’s spell. When the roads clear, she intends to leave, but fate intervenes.
Haunted by his past, Cade Byron has buried himself in the country. Then Meg—with her lush curves and soft, blonde hair—invades his house and his life. With her reputation compromised, he proposes a pretend engagement and a London Season where she can find a husband.
But as their charade deepens, Cade can’t let her go . . . vowing to tempt her with a kiss that just may lead to forever.
I wanted to like this book and expected a great deal after reading some of the favourable reviews on Amazon. The plot sounded good, even if it’s been done before. But what could have been a sweet, sizzling romance between two strangers fate has brought together, turned out to be very predictable, a bit unbelievable, dull and lacking in chemistry.
The hero and heroine meet by accident on his estate during a snow storm. The hero is only just recovering from horrifying events that took place during his stint as a spy in the war. The heroine is young but also mature for her years. Naturally, there is an attraction and before long, they end up in a compromising position, by accident.
The thing is, I never quite felt the spark between them and them falling into bed soon early on in the book robbed the plot of a lot of good old sexual tension. Cade was supposed to be still madly in love with his first love and yet he is all too eager to bed Meg from the start. To be honest, I wish there was more of a struggle with his feelings for his fiancé versus his new feelings for Meg, but no, after the ‘compromise’, he suggests a Season in London to help her find a husband. Really? When she hasn’t even been compromised that badly and it was an unintentional mistake? I felt like the fake engagement was used more as a weak excuse to keep the H and H together, rather than a good twist. It was unbelievable to say the least.
And from there, the story is boringly predictable-Meg goes about meeting new men and getting to know Cade’s family, while Cade resists falling for his fake fiancé. I confess I was about to give up right there-even a worn false engagement plot can be interesting with the right plot to pull it off, something this book was without. The sex scenes weren’t even that great despite their length, content and number and I felt myself rushing through them.
Luckily things did pick up and there was a bit of intrigue with an unexpected villain that saved the book. Pity it didn’t come sooner. I thought Cade was supposed to be dangerous, worthy of his name but he was just wounded. I did like Meg’s maturity but at the end, she kind of annoyed me with her unfounded behaviour. The author also has this annoying habit of inserting ‘mayhap’ every few pages and I started playing a game just to see when it would pop up next.
So, an average hero, a likeable heroine who ended up being annoying, a barely passable plot, boring sex scenes and little chemistry. This book is a lesson in how NOT to write a romance novel.
I just hope her other books are better than this one.
Sensuality Rating: Hot (Love scenes are long and explicit)
Verdict: Not worth your time. Skip this one.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars