Friday, June 14, 2013

How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back

How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back by Sophie Barnes

Miss Emily Rutherford and her two sisters, Beatrice and Claire, have fallen on hard times since the death of the parents lead to their cousin taking all of their assets. But Emily has always planned to marry Lord Adrian Caroway as they have had a semi-understanding that spanned back several years. Everyone is shocked when Adrian instead announces his engagement to their longtime friend, Lady Kate, and her sisters enlist the help of Francis, Lord Dunhurst, to help Emily through her heart break. As children Emily, Kate, Francis, and Adrian had been the best of friends, but then Francis had changed- became stern and unsmiling and Emily had spent the ensuing years despising her friend for changing so dramatically. He was helpless to prevent their estrangement as he was forced to grow up fast after his mother's mysterious death and learning a devestating family secret, but he never meant for his friendship with Emily to end. He is furious that Adrian would hurt her in this way and invites her and her sisters to London to get her mind off of what happened and enjoy herself.

Once in London Emily finds herself reevaluating her feelings for both Adrian and Francis and wondering if she let her anger over Francis's change in personality lead her to believe herself in love with Adrian. Francis is charmed by Emily's outspokenness and love of life and soon realizes that he wants far more than friendship with her and her reappearance in his life has made him a happier person. It isn't long before he and Emily have reached an understanding and both are excited about marrying and about the wedding night.  Unfortunately his father's former mistress, Charlotte Browne, hides secrets that could utterly destroy Francis and anyone associated with him and he worries about getting Emily involved in this. Once Emily has realized that it is really Francis she has been in love with all these years, she wants to help him overcome the problems assaulting him. Together they both must work together to put the past behind them and build a future where both of them can be secure and happy in their love.

Emily was a happy, if naive, young country girl who I could sympathize, if not precisely relate, to because she was an enjoyable character. Her love for Adrian seemed to burn hot and die quickly and her reason for assuming they had an arrangement were a bit far fetched so I couldn't really like her entirely. My favorite thing in the book though was how she stood up for herself to Adrian and Kate instead of being all noble and forgiving like the typical romance novel heroine. Francis was a brooding romance novel hero who was hiding a secret and needed the heroine to help him learn to laugh and enjoy life. However, I felt like there were more mentions of his being stern than actual examples of his being so and that just doesn't sit well with me. These two had a long relationship past that the reader isn't really privy to and so I did not really get a feel for how their romance was developing. They were very attracted to each other and there were a few scenes that made it clear they couldn't keep their hands off of each other, but nothing was really hot and steamy.

Charlotte was an interesting, if very under developed, character who had real potential but was just pure evil and I would have liked a more nuanced character. The sideplot involving her blackmail scheme and the secrets she were revealing did draw me in and I liked that they were not drawn out longer than necessary and especially liked that the secret was genuinely earth shattering. However I was horribly disappointed with how this part of the story ended as it was so engrossing and so important and then boom! It basically all turned into a big nothing and nothing ended up happening. Probably my biggest issue with this novel was writing style; it completely turned me off with so much description and so many adjectives used to describe everything. There were far to many variations of "rapture" used to describe everything for my taste. The dialogue was equally flowery and really made it difficult to believe the characters were realistic.

Rating: A quick read with far too purply writing and a romance that missed quite a bit and a sideplot that exploded into nothing ness.

No comments: