Much to her mother’s dismay, spirited Anne Fletcher spent her youth seeking her father’s approval by hunting and riding. More comfortable in breeches than ball gowns, Anne sees the freedoms she once enjoyed slowly taken from her in the name of fashioning her into an eligible young lady. When her parents try to force her into marriage, Anne makes a desperate attempt to salvage her last vestige of independence. If she is to marry, she will do so on her own terms.
Anne strikes a deal: if she cannot secure a man for herself, she will agree to marry the husband her parents approved. She soon finds herself in the last place she would ever choose—that stifling parade of etiquette, the London Season. Anne’s plan is in motion. Now all she needs is a man willing to masquerade as her fiancé.
About The Author:
Alene Wecker writes because her favorite authors—Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer—haven’t published anything new in ages! Alene graduated from Brigham Young University with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance, though she rarely uses her degree. She likes to tell herself her education comes in handy as she describes debutantes who, like herself, are frequently forced to display their mediocre skills at the piano-forte. When she’s not writing or mothering her six children, she is usually reading, or can sometimes be found singing with Utah Symphony/Utah Opera. She also enjoys traveling and learning new languages. Some of her favorite haunts include: Berlin, Brașov, Bucharest, Budapest, London, Maui, New York City, Oahu, Paris, Rome, San Diego, Vancouver, and Venice.
Find Alene here: WEBSITE
This book starts off with a bang – figuratively and literally. It was a unique start to the book which made me eager to keep reading for what else will be different.
There is an attempted assault early on and the villain of that scenario remains part of the book and is a major plot line. So that could be triggering for some.
Anne is not your typical debutante. She’s put off going to London because she doesn’t want to get married but when her mother tries to marry her off to the local vicar, Anne hightailed it out of there. Cue a picture of Mr. Collins from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice 😅 Only to run into Mr. Thomas Paling repeatedly.
Thomas has colorful waistcoats, even one unfortunately colored a fetid green. 🤢 I love the dandy/scoundrel trope where he plays it cool and keeps everyone at surface level until you learn there’s more to him. He strikes up a friendship with Anne and he’s the only one who believes Anne and likes her as she is. So many people tell Anne what she should do or not do, Thomas just wanted to be there by her side.
This was a fast paced book that is plot driven. It’s hard when no one is cheering for Anne. She has a strained relationship with her family so I figured she’d get out of that household as soon as she could. But she cared for her friends and tried to save them-even willing to marry the vicar. And she stands up for herself a time or two as well. 👏🏻
I think the last half of the book with the fake dating really redeemed itself with some twists and watching it all play out. I wish the fake dating started sooner. I love the forced proximity and watching the characters act like they’re falling in love when they really are. ❤️ Fate, destiny, kismet, whatever you want to call it. It’s not hard to fall for Thomas- even if he was a dunderhead a time or two. Plus seeing Thomas on the side saddle would’ve been a sight to see. 😂
I hope that Anne’s sister Lizzie and the Colonel get together in another book. I could see the Colonel like Mr. Darcy. I was intrigued by the Col. so here’s hoping 🤞🏼
If you’re looking for a regency RomCom and unbelievable scenarios from a new author- this is your book. There are nods to Georgette Heyer’s style. It was interesting to read that some of the characters were based off the author’s relatives.
Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book. These are my own thoughts and opinions.