The Dreamer and the Debutante*
Didn’t Buy the Romantic Relationship
It just so happens that I read The Viscount and the Vixen first because that’s how they were available at my favorite book reviewer site. This book is definitely a prequel for that book, as it sets the stage for the premise of it. This love story shows the difficulty of having a relationship across class boundaries in 19th century England. Lady Heloise is the sister of a viscount, and the young man that she falls in love with is the housekeeper’s son who is currently a stablehand. This book details their story from when she comes home on a summer break from her finishing school to when she has to go back before the start of the London season.
The book definitely had moments of romantic interest, including a steamy scene or two, but I didn’t really feel like the relationship was well developed. I just didn’t buy from the beginning that they would have such feelings for each other so quickly. She was often his tormentor when she was younger; at the very least, she talked him into doing some untoward things to help her with her capers. Yes, she returns as a beautiful young woman, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more of a transition given their complicated past. Some of those romantic moments I mentioned before are quite lovely, but I just had a hard time buying them as a couple. The book does end on an HFN, but if you’ve read The Viscount and the Vixen, you know that her path is not smooth. I definitely recommend that you read the books in order, this one first before the other one, though it isn’t strictly necessary. The other story doesn’t need this one; it stands well enough on its own, but this story illuminates the reason for that story. I quite enjoyed The Viscount and the Vixen, much more than I enjoyed this one, as I thought that was a very well-done historical romance.
NOTE: This book does not appear to be available at any bookseller. The page at Goodreads said it is only available for the author’s newsletter subscribers, but I got it from one of the book review sites I use.