Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An Arranged Marriage (The Company of Rogues ~1~) Review

Publication Date:  7/12/13

Synopsis:


Ruined through her vile brother's schemes, Eleanor Chivenham is offered rescue by marriage to a rake with an infamous French mistress. Eleanor accepts, determined to treat the arranged marriage with cool dignity.

Then she meets Nicholas Delaney. Not only does he stir her senses, but the trouble and pain beneath his smooth exterior reaches her heart.

Nicholas is indeed troubled. While serving his country by seducing secrets out of a French spy, he is persuaded to marry Eleanor to protect his family's honor. But such chivalry runs counter to his carefully wrought rogue image, and extends the life-threatening plots shadowing him to Eleanor.

To assist, Nicholas reassembles the Company of Rogues, a schoolboy group he started years before. But not even they can dampen Eleanor's fighting wit that is quickly unmasking their enemy and testing Nicholas' formidable will.



My Review:


I generally love historical romance novels.  I love the epic stories of men who are dashing, doing shady stuff and making damsels in distress and naughty minxes fall in love with them.  I love arranged marriage historicals as well.  Normally.  This one, not so much my favorite.

There were aspects I really did enjoy, like how Nicholas is charming as hell even when he is basically put into a corner and forced to marry.  Eleanor is very strong and is able to overcome something that would give a normal woman a nervous breakdown.  She adapts well.  In fact, that is part of my problem with this book.  I like a good suspension of disbelief like anyone, but damn did I have to suspend it quite a bit!
*SPOILER ALERT*

A night of drunken partying on her brothers behalf ends with him instigating a rape on Eleanor in an attempt to both control his sister and her inheritance and shame and blackmail the man who did the rape.  The rape is actually done by Nicholas' twin brother.  It is a brutal scene and probably the most powerful in the book, but after the rape, it seems as if the author just flies past the idea that Eleanor would need to grieve.  This never truly happens.

Nicholas is convinced by his brother to marry to cover the scandal of it all.  So Eleanor's brother is foiled in his plans, EXCEPT, Nicholas is a spy and therefore the whole situation is a huge mess.  Filled with infidelity, scandals, and a lot of gaps in the story, it is hard to keep up with this one.  

I wanted to like this so much.  I enjoyed aspects, but I felt it was all over the place.  

I give this 3 lipsticks

~B~


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