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Miss Felicity's Dilemma*

Odd Combination of Events

I’m always drawn to historical romance novels. This one had an unusual beginning, where at the meet-cute of the hero and heroine, he declares that she will be his fiancee. Apparently, his father, a duke, has required that his third son marry this particular young woman or he will lose his home. Felicity is an orphan who spent some very unpleasant years at a school for young women before moving on to become a teacher herself. She has no idea why she is summoned to the hero’s estate.

The book had some serious issues with pacing and plot development. It almost felt as though it were two different books cobbled together in the middle. Forty percent or so of the book feels like the setup; the heroine tries to figure out what’s going on and attempts to leave the estate, but the hero convinces her to stay and get to know him before turning him down his offer. There are some humorous moments as they get to know each other, as the hero has a wicked sense of humor. The heroine has clearly led a difficult life, which is slowly revealed, and is a bit out of her depth at times in this aristocratic household, yet she has insight into human character that is missing in the hero. After this extended introductory section that takes up so much of the book, all of a sudden the novel switches to romantic suspense with an actual danger element. I swear there were no clues given in the earlier portion that that was where the book was heading. So that second half felt like it came from out of the blue and seemed very strange to me. The author should have foreshadowed what was going to come. The first 40% made it seem like it was going to be pretty much a straight-up historical romance where at two unlikely people get to know each other and fall in love despite inner and outer conflicts. But that wasn’t quite the case here.

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