Emily Rutherford is having a very bad day.
Of course, having the man you’ve loved forever announce his engagement to your (now very former) best friend will do that.
Emily is sure nothing good could possibly come out of this horrid situation. But she lets her sisters—along with Francis Riley, the delectable but brooding Earl of Dunhurst—convince her that a season in London will be just the thing.
Now Emily has a choice: sulk in a corner while her sisters enjoy the glitter of the ton . . . or become the belle of the ball, dazzling everyone on an earl’s arm. But as Francis helps Emily get back on her feet, she quickly realizes that a childhood crush is nothing compared to the power of true love.
Emily Rutherford is best friends with Kate. She’s also in love with a man that she grew up with and has an understanding of marriage with, Adrian. Emily believes, as does her family AND Adrian’s family that he is finally ready to make an announcement about his marriage. When Adrian asks Emily to take a walk with him because he needs to speak to her she’s giddy with happiness. That giddiness comes to a screeching halt when Adrian tells her that he will be marrying her friend Kate and he would like her approval. What? OMG, poor Emily is devastated. She leaves the ball that her family is attending and heads off to try to deal with her heartbreak.
The Earl of Dunhurst, Francis, who is a cousin to Adrian and someone that Emily also grew up with is at the ball. He is quite angry at his cousin for being so insensitive as to not know how Emily had felt all this time and to not honor their marriage agreement. Adrian holds that the “agreement” was all in jest and that he never thought that Emily would have taken it seriously. Wrong. Francis steps in and decides to get Emily and her two sisters out of their town for a while and decides to take them to London where they can be distracted. He gets them a sponsor and buys them all they’ll need to have a great Season. Francis, however, is more interested in Emily than he is in her having a great season. He finds that Emily is someone he thought he knew but really, he had no idea of the wonderful person she had become. She’s fun and forthright (kind of a new development) and incredibly intelligent – what’s not to love? Francis begins formally courting Emily but he’s got some BIG family secrets and when some wrong conclusions are brought to light about those secrets, Emily’s pretty sure she wants nothing more to do with Francis.
I’m not sure where to start with my thoughts on this book. I think I’ll tell you what I didn’t like about the book first and end on an up note by telling you what I did like at the end.
What I didn’t like:
While I liked the idea of story the execution just didn’t work for me. The story felt choppy and it moved all over the place. There were, at times a bit of head-hopping as well and that tended to be confusing. While I really liked the characters they still had to play their parts in the story and the author had them acting in some ways that frankly I thought were a bit out of character for them. That bothered me when it happened as it wasn’t consistent.
I also felt the story was told in a way where we were told almost everything that happened. There were a couple of parts where it jumped ahead rather than telling us every detail but for the most part we were given every detail and thought from beginning to end. While I liked that at some points of the story for others it brought the reading to a slower pace and dragged things down a bit.
What I liked about this book:
I liked Emily so very much. We didn’t get to see too too much about her before the whole Adrian fiasco but what we saw afterward really made me admire her. She did her mourning over Adrian and moved on. She figured out her own mind and without becoming someone she’s not she moved on to become just a better version of Emily. Kind of an Emily 2.0.
Then there’s Francis. The poor man had had a crappy childhood and had to deal with some really hard truths about his family. He had become a closed off, walled-up man who didn’t know how to have a bit of fun or for that matter really live life. He became a better person when he was with Emily and I loved how he really saw her and didn’t just focus on her beauty – he saw the whole woman.
The secondary characters were great as well. Though we didn’t get to know Emily’s sisters that well or the men they fall for, they were loving and supportive til the end which is always a plus in my book.
In the end I liked the book because of the characters and the premise of the story but the writing itself just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Rating: 3 out of 5