Published by Avon Impulse on April 12th 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Self Purchased
From the Season Standard: “A true Season’s Original embodies the class, grace, and style of the ton. Such an honor ensures the recipient her pick of eligible suitors…”
Lilah Appleton’s prospects are looking dim. With one last chance to find a titled husband before she’s forced to wed her wretched cousin, she must make this Season count. Plain, forgettable Lilah must become the Season’s Original. Desperate, she seeks help from the devilishly charming, untitled, and thoroughly unsuitable Jack Marlowe. All she must do now is resist the tempting rogue…
Bastard son and self-made man, Jack Marlowe loathes the aristocracy. When he meets Lilah, he expects her to be like all the other greedy husband-hunters. But she’s far more dangerous. Her alluring smiles and sharp tongue intrigue him. Before he knows it, he agrees to help her find a husband, revealing tricks to ensnare any man. The only problem is, his plan works too well—on him.
When Lilah becomes the belle of the ball, Jack realizes he may lose her forever—unless he can take a chance on love and claim his debutante...
Good Reads Reading Challenge 2018
Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2018
Literary Pickers Challenge 2018 (Elements to Factor – First time author/narrator)
I’m fence sitting on this book….I liked it and there were many moments where I really enjoyed spending time with Jack and Lilah and getting to know them, but there were parts of the book which didn’t mesh well with the plot. Vivienne Lorett is a new to me author and I was very curious about her books and writing style, so I picked this romance up to find out more about her style.
Mr. Jack Marlowe – entrepreneur, self-made rich bachelor and bastard son of a nobleman. Jack is convinced the Duke of Vale has given him the name of Miss Lilah Appleton as his perfect match using his secret matchmaking formula. But Lilah has to marry a titled gentleman according to a codicil on her father’s will if she wants to retain her property and not be forcibly wed to her loathsome cousin. On top of this, Lilah also finds herself under pressure as part of a wager to become this Season’s Original, attract a suitor, meet her father’s will’s requirements and win the wager for her cousin!
The first meeting between Lilah and Jack is a memorable one and they both make an impression on each other. Sympathising to her plight, Jack takes it upon himself to help Lilah find her perfect match, but the more sharp retorts and setdowns he gets from Lilah the more intrigued he is by her and wants her all to himself. Lilah also finds Jack endearing and more suited than her other suitors, but she faces the ultimate dilemma of choosing a man for love or her family’s approval.
I think the easiest way to dissect the book and my reactions would be to focus on my dislikes first. My main problem was that there was so much going on! Like a lot….A whole hodgepodge of things meshed together…Now I don’t have a problem with multiple factors and issues, as long as it is handled well and explained properly. I didn’t feel like the plot came together because of these weaknesses. I’ll elaborate below:
– The marriage formula – What was this? I really didn’t know much about the formula and its purpose to this story, except that it was invented by the Duke of Vale and our hero was convinced Ivy was his match. I also didn’t realise there was a prequel to this story which touched upon the marriage formula…maybe if I had read it, I might have had a better understanding? I thought the story could do without this little factor as it was so nominal.
– Lilah’s personality was a contrast to how she was portrayed. Her personality comes across as docile, meek, unattractive and mousy. Once Jack started paying attention to her and saw her as an attractive female, her personality changed into a harpy like character at times, which I couldn’t relate to, find endearing or fascinating. Her personality change felt forced and I think the author was aiming for Lilah to come across as defiant and bold, but to me, she came across as unauthentic and juxtaposed to how she truly was! It would have worked better for me if, she remained true to her personality and then she could have shone on her own. There was also a lot of “ohh poor me” going on at the start of the book by Lilah which I found really whiny and I couldn’t manage to feel any empathy at all.
– The Season’s Original wager was sudden, random and needed more explanation! This one really confused me! Lilah’s cousin is wagering against her ex-love interest to make Lilah the Season’s Original and she is competing against a man! A secretive group of the Ton picks the Season’s Original during the Season and apparently the Original can also be male. I don’t mind a female and a male competing to be an Original, but I felt like this aspect needed more elaboration on why a man could also be named an Original because, in my limited historical knowledge, I always assumed the Original status was reserved for debutantes only. Correct me if I’m wrong!
– The twist at the end…I wouldn’t say this is a dislike and I could see how this gives a happy ending, but I also wouldn’t have minded the alternative! In my opinion, the alternative could have been more romantic!
– My usual pet peeves of Americanisms were also found
Despite all these dislikes, I did enjoy the story, even though it might seem like I didn’t…Hahaha, I really didn’t hate it and I’m not shy about dishing out those low scores if I feel like I didn’t enjoy the book but I just felt like I had to highlight the issues that bugged me the most about this book so that others can agree or disagree! I think a 3.5 helm rating is a really good score, considering that I had many issues with the plot. Vivienne Lorett is definitely worthy of your time!
I will be reading more by her as I am really intrigued by Lilah’s cousin and her past and I feel like Vivienne’s heroines have some interesting traits….Lilah is the only one who I have come across that does not hate spiders!