Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie | Marriage of Convenience #2
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018
ARC from Netgalley
| Book Review |
With several Anne Gracie books under my belt, I was confident I’d found an historical author I could count on for an enjoyable read. It makes me sad to report that her latest release, Marry in Scandal, just wasn’t what I was hoping for. I found Lily to be a heroine who was simple and hard to relate to, Edward incredibly underdeveloped, and the plot shallow. But the biggest problem for me with this book was that, aside from the setting and a few plot points, these heroines were plucked right from the modern world and thrown back in time.
Now I will admit that Lily was a very sweet girl, and I liked her very much in Marry in Haste. But she did not feel, to me, interesting enough to carry her own story, or, if we’re bringing modern days into an historical setting, old enough to be getting married. I didn’t find her naivete endearing, and I don’t like it when heroines manipulate the hero because they aren’t coming to terms with their issues quickly enough. It’s something that rubs me the wrong way and turns me completely off. As far as Ned goes, I did like his character, but obviously, only what I knew of him. I don’t feel like we got to know him enough to really feel the appreciation and relief he did at finally coming to terms with his past, and aside from the fact that Lily accepted him into her bed almost ravenously, I am unclear as to why he was so drawn to her. As for the pacing of this book, it started off so slow that we were at least a third of the way through before the story really even got under way, and the pace never picked up. Also, like I mentioned before, I don’t feel like Lily had enough going on to carry an entire story, and we never really delved into Ned’s character, so the entire story arc felt superficial to me. When I went back and read my review for the first book in the series, which I really enjoyed, I realized I barely mentioned the romance between the main characters. My review mostly focused on the family dynamic and how the way they came together was so interesting and very sweet. It seems without that element, the story is lacking, and it makes me sad to admit that. I loved Lily’s family so much in the first book.
There were a few things I think are worth mentioning – there was a family Lily and Ned stayed with near the beginning of the story, and the son and daughter who later travelled with them were so entertaining and fun to read about. And so was Sylvia, a woman from Lily and Rose’s past. She was the most compelling part of this story, and I hope she makes an appearance in upcoming books.
I did go back and forth between print (provided by the publisher) and audio (purchased by me,) and I think the narrator does a wonderful job with accents and intonation, even if she does sound a bit older than Lily is supposed to be.
At this point I am undecided on whether or not to continue the series. We have Georgiana’s story coming up, and I can’t help but think it will be even more modern-feeling than this one. If you don’t mind a more contemporary feeling historical, Marry in Scandal may work for you. But if you’re looking for an historical romance that has an historical feel, you may want to pass on this one.
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