For a change, the back cover blurb is correct. The only thing its missing is that Julias sister, Sophia, has been compromised by an older, scarred, widower who is dark and handsome. How were they compromised? Well, by the same man shes crushing on and who is trying to force Julia into marriage with him -the over the top, evil Lord Ludlowe who looks like an angel, but is all black in his soul.
*sigh* I really wanted to like this book. I cut some slack with a new author since this is their first book, but although I tried to find the good in it – it was soooo boring. It wasnt bad. Just boring, and kind of sad too because of all the missed opportunities there were to make this book good. All the characters were cardboard cut-outs with no depth. From the weak, frail, unrequited love sister, to a dragon of a mother who just wants her children married off well. They marched around playing out those romantic cliches and never growing or changing one whit.
The bad guy is Lord Ludlowe and he was the absolute worst cut-out. Golden, charming, and handsome, he wants to marry Julia, but we never know why hes fixated on her. She not a “diamond of the first water” since her mothers family was in trade and theyre poor. But Ludlowe doesnt seem to care. After coming into an unlikely title and money he decides shes the one for him even though he knows that Sophia is smitten with him. Then he goes and gets the Sophia compromised by some “old” (36 yrs btw) country lord with a sketchy past, for reasons never explained. All of this could have been interesting if done correctly, but instead we share half the book with Julia whos trying not to fall in love with a family friend, and the other half with Sophia and the sketchy (or is he?) lord.
And I guess that was my biggest problem. If we had focused on ONE story, well then I may been interested in the heroine of that book. Instead, I just kind of hated Julia for being such a shallow heroine – which kind of makes the book worthless to read, IMHO. Whenever her part of the book came up I started finding reasons to put the book down, and her hero Benedict was even less exciting. Sophia at least had some room to grow and Id perk up at her sections of the book, but Julia as the heroine with Benedict was a snore fest. Zero chemistry and…wait. I think I nodded off while writing this…