Friday, October 18, 2013
And Then Comes Marriage
Mrs. Miranda Talbot has always lived her life quietly and by the rules, but now that she is a widow with means, she has a freedom she has never experienced before. She is happy to enjoy the courtship of Mr. Pollux Worthington after he saves her from being run over by a carriage. She is unaware that Poll has an identical twin, Castor and so when Castor saves her from the twins' exploding invention, she believes it is Poll and is happy to give him a kiss. Castor likes this beautiful widow but horrified to learn that his own twin has been courting her for a month so they come up with a solution: they will both court her and the winner will be the one who gets her to say yes to a marriage proposal. Miranda is shocked at first, but decides that she should finally start having fun for herself, and agrees to the twins absurd proposal. They divvy up their time and both begin their courtship by escorting her around town, taking her on trips, and trying to prove that they will be the one to make her happy.
Meanwhile Castor approaches the Prince Regent to ask for a Royal Grant so that he can continue to make inventions, but Prinny only agrees if Castor can stay out of the scandal sheets. Miranda's former sister-in-law is furious that Miranda was given the family's house after Mr. Talbot's death, and is determined to regain her rightful place in the house and does not hesitate to try to make Miranda's life miserable. Miranda is coming to realize that although she enjoys spending time with Poll, it is clear that Castor is the one she feels more of a connection with. But their little sister, Attie, believes that Miranda is sowing discord between the brothers, and tries to separate them. After on disastrous kiss with Poll, Miranda knows that he belongs with Castor, but his past experiences with relationship have left him scarred and she must show him that he is ready for a true loving relationship with her.
So the first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that Miranda is being courted by two men who look exactly alike. This would have been acceptable if the book could have at least done more to distinguish between the two brothers. Unfortunately I feel like there was enough difference between the brother's and I found myself getting confused about which brother had done what with her. She apparently could tell them apart because she was far more attracted to one then the other, but I really could not. Miranda was a very well developed character and we were constantly learning new things about her. Her past was quite checkered and made her a very interesting person and made her more "real" than other romance novel heroines. Castor didn't really distinguish himself as super distinct from his brother, until towards the end when a tortured past was kind of thrown in there when I had begun to really appreciate that he didn't have one. His dark past involved a bad relationship that left him with a kinky side in bed that was hot, mildly disturbing, and rather confusing really.
There was a lot of heat between Castor and Miranda, which was in direct contrast to the absolute lack of heat between Poll and Miranda, and it permeated the entire novel. Castor's sexual proclivities included a need to kind of dominate, kind of control, and kind of own the person he was having sex with. It was hot and kinky but then Bradley backtracked by having them slightly reverse roles and it felt like a cop out on her part. The Worthington family was cute in its' eccentricities, but it quickly became annoying to have them constantly appearing and doing such insane things as I am not a fan of novels that feature too many past or future characters. I did enjoy reading about Miranda's past and how she was changing as a person and I found the minor side plot involving her former sister-in-law very entertaining.
Rating: An enjoyable read overall with a wonderful heroine, but the situation involving the twins and then Castor's sexual proclivities did bring down the book.