Friday, March 22, 2013
Season for Temptation
James, Viscount Matheson, decides that he should become engaged quickly after ascending to his title and being hounded by his family to help restore respectability to the scandal ridden family. Louisa Oliver is beautiful and kind and he knows she will make a perfect wife for him so after a very short courting he proposes and she agrees. Louisa knows that she will never fit in with London society and would prefer a quiet life retiring in the country, but she also knows that it is her duty to marry well. James decides to visit his wife's family in the country and after meeting Louisa's stepsister, Julia Herrington all of his well ordered plans are thrown out the window. Julia is loud, funny, brave, and outgoing, everything that her perfect, well-mannered step sister is not and she doesn't know what to do with the immense attraction she is feeling for her soon to be brother-in-law. She wants her sister to be happy and would never do anything to jeopardize Louisa's happiness so she tries to hide her feelings and he tries to follow suit.
The tension between them in palpable and all it takes is one stolen moment for everyone to realize that James and Louisa are not meant to be together. But both of them feel guilty for the problems that have arisen and after meeting James' family Julia wonders if she is the right woman to help restore the family's good name and worries that the ton will never accept her or respect their marriage because of the way it began. Confusion ensues when Julia wonders if James has the depth of feelings for her that she has for him and she retreats to her family for comfort after being embarrassed by the ton. James must prove to Julia, and the world, that Julia is the woman for him and that it does not matter what the ton thinks or how their relationship began because they are in love.
Julia is supposed to be the atypical heroine, chattery, healthy appetite, loud, and very child-friendly and while it can be cute and vaguely naive, her inane chatter became oppressive and I really do not find that kind of thing amusing in the least. As someone who spends all day with kids I don't think it's totally endearing when someone is overly familiar with other people's kids and wants to spend tons of time with children. There was one scene when she went back for thirds at a meal and then looked at her plate in surprise that she had eaten everything and it just made her seem incredibly unintelligent and ridiculous. It really did not take me long to realize that this was not a character I was going to fall in love with. James was a very real character and a nice change from the brooding hero and I felt like the conflict he went through was written of in a very deft manner and he just seemed like a very genuine person.
Their relationship progressed well throughout the novel as they dealt with the obstacles in their path together. There wasn't really much steam at all and I definitely would not describe it as hot and given the circumstances it was just as well that they weren't going at it like rabbits. Also, I kind of thought of Julia as very child like so I didn't really want to read about her being sexi-fied anyway. I really liked the love triangle aspect of the story and how everyone was so caring of everyone else involved and there was no mean spiritedness. Maybe a little bad guy in the story would have been nice and added a little flair to this otherwise very straightforward story, though. I did not like that Louisa and Julia represented such complete opposite ends of the spectrum and both just seemed unrealistic and unlikable. The book was a very fast read and was well written.
Rating: A promising story but it was killed by a heroine who just drove me nuts and was a poor example of an anti-heroine.