The second in the Book Club Belles Society, the set-up is simple. The five young ladies that are met in the story are reading the newly released Pride and Prejudice, and setting out to find their own Darcy. In this book, we are following Rebecca’s story, and I will say from the get-go that she was not a favorite of mine. In fact, she reminds me very much of Emma, another Austen character that is difficult to like.
Rebecca is spoilt and demanding, very forthright and judgmental, and often far too modern in her speech and approach for the purported time of the story. She has an overinflated sense of self that is far less a defense mechanism than one would hope: she truly believes that her standards and desires for the ‘right man’ are both appropriate and achievable.
Luke has been gone for several years: after crossing swords some five years earlier after Rebecca’s brother behaved poorly, he had left house and home to make his own way in the world. After years of silence and his own brother thinking him dead, Luke has returned with an injury from the war, a faithful if slightly disreputable dog, and a solid grounding in the life of a rake. Rebecca is both intrigued and disparaging of Luke, she refuses to ‘settle’ for a rake, and she expects never to allow him to cross her mind.
Of course Luke wants to be the man for her: frankly I never quite felt the connection between them. Rebecca never really softened or compromised from her rather rigid stance and belief that she deserved the ‘top shelf’, and Luke struggled to become what she wanted and needed. This alone was incredibly strange, as he was a man of near forty, in an age where men held all the cards: least of all for a chit of just 22, with an overinflated sense of self-import.
Interactions were clever and well-written, but this story ‘feels’ very 21st century even though it is meant to be Regency-era, with language, behavior and customs that fit that day. For me, I found those incongruities preyed on the story premise: it felt lighthearted and modern, with Regency references and customs pulling me away from the story rather than fitting in while feeling appropriate and needed.
I have a very conflicted sense of this story: not as fun or well-presented as the first, while hoping that the feel of the era will return in the next story. I am sure that part of the problem comes from the heroine who had, for me, no redeeming features and engendered no empathy. A mixed story that is set in the Regency era, but seems to forget the place and time to deliver a modern feeling romance with some lovely moments and dialogue.
Title: Sinfully Ever After
Author: Jayne Fresina
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦Audible
Teaching scandalous young men a lesson? This is not your typical book club!
To Rebecca Sherringham, all men are open books—read quickly and forgotten. Perhaps she's just too practical for love. The last thing she needs is another bore around—especially one that's supposed to be dead.
Captain Lucius "Luke" Wainwright turns up a decade after disappearing without a trace. He's on a mission to claim his birthright, and he's not going away again until he gets it. But Becky and the ladies of the village Book Club Belles Society won't let this rogue get away with his sins. He'll soon find that certain young ladies are accustomed to dealing with villains.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.