Though each novel focuses on a different Bainbridge sister, and therefore has its own story, reading A Reluctant Courtship before the other two books could potentially give you spoilers of events in the previous books.
I recommend reading the books in order. First is A Necessary Deception and then A Flight of Fancy. Click on the titles to read the reviews.
Honore Bainbridge, the youngest of the sisters, has been left to the country estate – in hopes she’ll stay out of trouble. And out of the public eye.
After two scandalously bad courtships – one of whom was a traitor, the other a murderer – it seems that Honore’s taste in gentlemen constantly leads her astray.
So, when she meets Lord Ashmoor – tall, dark and handsome – it’s almost a given that he also would be unsuitable.
Of course he is.
His American upbringing and fears that he helped French prisoners escape from Dartmoor Prison make him a highly dangerous match.
In fact, Lord Ashmoor himself is looking to secure a courtship that will bring him above reproach of the English and help get him out of the cloud of suspicion he’s in. Which means he should stay far away from disreputable Honore.
Yet the two are drawn together…
I love the Regency era. Yet it has to be done just so for me to feel swept into that time period in novels. I can’t ask everyone to compare with Jane Austen, who obviously lived in the era, but I do need to have a sense of the age through descriptions, language, and overall atmosphere.
Unfortunately, for me, that was truly lacking in A Reluctant Courtship.
I liked A Necessary Deception and A Flight of Fancy was okay – both of the heroine’s out of the ordinary personalities or situations helped the otherwise, in my opinion, lackluster stories. Yet, here, Honore just seems to be a typical blonde beauty – and she fell flat for me.
My feelings were ho-hum to start A Reluctant Courtship – and sadly they progressed that way. Descriptions of Honore’s loveliness and Lord Ashmoor’s handsomeness do not a romance make.
For this reader, anyway.
After continuing to not grab my attention after quite a few pages, I decided to skim the novel. I hate doing that, but there are so many books in the world – we have to make time for them!!
Unfortunately, A Reluctant Courtship just came across as too familiar, too cliché, almost too cookie-cutter of a story and then didn’t have the sweeping, engrossing sense of the Regency time for me to stick with it.
Hopefully, you’ll feel differently! Remember to try it for yourself – I’m only one opinion.
*Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
*I received a copy of A Reluctant Courtship from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.