One Tempting Proposal (Accidental Heirs #2)
By: Christy Carlyle
Format/Source: eBook courtesy of Avon Impulse promo
Becoming engaged? Simple. Resisting temptation? Impossible.
Sebastian Fennick, the newest Duke of Wrexford, prefers the straightforwardness of mathematics to romantic nonsense. When he meets Lady Katherine Adderly at the first ball of the season, he finds her as alluring as she is disagreeable. His title may now require him to marry, but Sebastian can’t think of anyone less fit to be his wife, even if he can’t get her out of his mind.
After five seasons of snubbing suitors and making small talk, Lady Kitty has seen all the ton has to offer…and she’s not impressed. But when Kitty’s overbearing father demands she must marry before her beloved younger sister can, she proposes a plan to the handsome duke. Kitty’s schemes always seem to backfire, but she knows this one can’t go wrong. After all, she’s not the least bit tempted by Sebastian, is she?.
I only found out about this book when I signed up for the Avon Impulse newsletter around Valentine’s Day and this was one of the eBook they were offering. It’s a familiar premise, using a fake engagement to allow the other couple to marry without any problems, but I was nonetheless intrigued 🙂
While the premise of this novel uses a familiar trope in the genre, the author does a wonderful job in making the story feel different from other stories through its characters. Sebastian and Katherine are fascinating in their own ways…Sebastian (did I mention I have a thing for characters named Sebastian?) holds a deep hurt from the past at the start of the novel that leaves his rather aversed to the idea of falling in love and getting married. It’s cool that prior to inheriting the dukedom he was a lecturer in mathematics up at Cambridge; I haven’t come across too many characters in the genre thus far who were academics, and while mathematics doesn’t run through his head 24/7 like Sir Hugh in Julia Quinn’s The Sum of All Kisses (review), it does colour his personality, makes his quite an intriguing character, and perhaps in a way grounds him amidst the changes in his fortune. He’s also refreshingly straightforward, doesn’t like lying or scheming, cares about his sister and best friend, likes a good mystery, stands up for what’s right, and can be pretty adorable and hilarious given the situation. He’s all in all a nice guy.
Admittedly I didn’t quite like Katherine at the start of the novel, but it’s more of a personality mesh than Katherine herself. I understand why she’s as proper and standoffish and tough as she is; society and her father are just not kind to her and knowing her worth as a person she refuses to stoop to just anyone. And I felt for her because she finds the London season tiring and no suitor of worth but she can’t do anything about it. Not to mention ongoing tensions with her father, which omg another character vying for father of the year here O_o But she can across as petty and harsh when she’s just trying to show things as they are or pointing out something. Some people are just like that, you know? But it did make for the first few chapters to be rather awkward to read, but at the same time shows how different Kitty and Sebastian are, making it even more interesting how they overcome these differences and get to know each other more.
Which wow, that was quite a journey for these characters. Thrown together by society and by their respective desires to help Kitty’s sister and Sebastian’s friend to marry and overcome Lord Clayborne’s rule, they start getting to know each other, whether it’s little things like Sebastian not being fond of riding horses or Kitty’s enthusiasm for gardening. Every exchange they share not only inches them closer to each other but also chips little chinks off the armour, especially in the case of Kitty who’s so used to guarding herself and her heart. The story was much more enjoyable when they were thrown together and were getting to know each other. There were a few bumps along the way–namely Kitty’s father and a certain lady from Sebastian’s past–but namely it was really overcoming their own personal reservations and doubts that was key to getting to their happily ever after.
So all in all I liked One Tempting Proposal. A little hard to get through at first as their first encounter wasn’t all that great–but on the other hand shows the author did a good job in setting up their differences and who they were at the start–it was enjoyable once the ploy was set and they started getting to know each other a bit more. The secondary characters were interesting enough though weren’t in the picture that often–especially the couple they were posing this fake engagement for–and while the final two chapters seemed a little, I don’t know, off?, considering everything else they went through, it was overall a good read.
Also, hey! Set in the Victorian era rather than the Regency era. In case anyone was wondering…