Much Ado About A Widow by Jenna Jaxon
Georgina defied her father once to follow her heart, but now a widow, she’s financially dependent on him and has little choice but to agree to the marriage he dictates. On her way home to marry the detestable Lord Travers, she’s kidnapped and taken to Portsmouth, where she escapes and runs into Lord Robin St. Just, a friend of her brother. Rob agrees to help her out, but the only help he can give is passage on his ship to Cornwall. Georgie has no real choice but to agree.
I’ve previously enjoyed quite a few of Jenna Jaxon’s books, but this one really didn’t cut it for me. Georgie goes from distrust of Rob to wanting to marry him in the space of literally three days. He’s utterly juvenile; everything is ‘a lark’ as far as he’s concerned, and about the only decent thing he did in the entire book was rescue Georgie’s dog from drowning. The plot grew increasingly far-fetched towards the end, with Georgie’s father threatening her for absolutely no good reason and apparently having enough pull with the British Navy to require them to board the ship of a nobleman of higher rank than himself? I don’t think so. The Navy aren’t going to involve themselves in that kind of nonsense. Raising his own militia to literally attack the estate of another lord was a step too far, and frankly I wanted to see Georgie’s father arrested for that alone.
The increasing drama in the plot felt forced, as though the author wasn’t quite sure what to do with the characters once she’d managed to get them together, and resorted to manufacturing external conflict instead of actually delving into her characters and letting them get to know each other. Since the entire book takes place in the space of about a week, I wanted less insta-love and more character development, and got contrived drama instead. Two stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.