The Debutante is Mine (Season’s Originals #1)
By: Vivienne Lorret
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
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…
If you’ve been following my historical romances reviews, you may have noticed I’ve become a bit of a fan of Vivienne Lorret’s books (see author tag). They’re fun, with characters I grow to care for. Admittedly I wasn’t in any rush to pick up this book but after seeing some positive reviews on GoodReads and Riffle Books, I caved and picked it up 😛
Well, this was a pretty sweet read. Lilah Appleton has to find herself a titled husband else she’s forced to marry her vile cousin (like, seriously, he was horrendous). It’s baffling how men do not remember her name, Lilah’s a lovely character, a little quiet when she’s not engaged in discussion, but she’s great. It’s horrible how her parents treated her but it’s good how she doesn’t let that distance affect who she is and how she relates to other people. I’m also happy that she has a cousin like Juliet who does look out for her (heh, I get the feeling she’s going to be the heroine in the third installment of this series, but that’s just me jumping ahead).
On the flipside, it’s interesting how Jack Marlowe, for all of his declarations about how he’s not part of the aristocratic society, is very much affected by what happened to his parents and growing out on the margins (in, but never quite in, if that makes any sense). But it gives him the advantage of saying what he wants and more or less doing what he wants, which makes him a devilish foil to Lilah. But Lilah’s pretty tough, she can stand her ground, which makes her banter with Jack all the more adorable.
It’s a slow burn romance, I thought, pretty quiet. The will that Lilah’s father left and the prospect of marrying her cousin loomed in the background, but it was really all about Jack and Lilah and how will they end up together, haha. The reader also learns more about their friends, from the Duke and Duchess of Vale to Lilah’s relatives to Marlowe’s friends. Themes of family and upbringing, society and courtship, and being true to who you are and finding beauty in yourself are strong throughout the book, especially the latter as Lilah and Jack come into their own over the course of the novel and their growing relationship.
Overall The Debutante is Mine is a lovely start to a new series and another great outing by Vivienne Lorret. Not quite as memorable or as fast-paced as her Rakes of Fallow Hall series, but nonetheless a nice read from the genre.