My Fair Lover by Nicole Jordan
My Fair Lover is intended to be a gender-reversed, Regency version of Pygmalion. Lady Katherine Wilde is a darling of the ton, and just the woman Brandon Deverill, newly minted Earl and former American privateer, needs to teach him to fit into the ways of London high society.
The problem is that they have History. Six years ago, Kate had such a huge crush on Deverill she attempted to seduce him by putting herself naked in his bed. Knowing that he had to leave for the Americas, Deverill did the honourable thing and refused her.
As far as I can tell, that was his first and last honourable act, because throughout this entire book, he behaves like a complete and utter boor. He asks Kate for her advice and doesn't listen to her about anything. He flat out lies to her face any number of times, asking her to help him find a bride while scheming behind her back with her family. He decides that he's going to marry Kate despite knowing that she wants to marry for love, knowing that he doesn't love her and believing himself not capable of it.
Honestly, by this time, I've seen the 'my parents didn't love each other so I don't know How To Love!" hero so many times I could predict the plot as soon as I read that line. (Funny how it's never the heroine from an abusive family who thinks she's incapable of love, isn't it? But I digress.)
For a supposedly strong-willed, independent, wealthy and beautiful woman who has been out in society for a number of years, Kate behaves like a complete ninny. Surely by this time she's learned to recognize when a man is intent on seduction? But again and again she lets Deverill do whatever he wants with her, so overwhelmed by her attraction to him that she apparently forgets all her common sense.
It was all just so predictable. I found myself skimming whole chunks with 'blah blah' running through my head. Nicole Jordan is a top-notch writer, but this seriously felt like she grabbed a bunch of tropes, mixed them up in a blender, and wrote to order whatever came out. Unexpectedly inherited title? Check! Strong sassy heroine who can't help herself when it comes to the hero? Check! He's a pirate too? Check! Don't forget the Other Pirate With A Grudge Over A Woman! Check!
Blah. Blah. Blah.
When you're one of the top writers in the field of Regency Romance, your readers expect better than getting to the end of the book with a feeling of relief that it's finally over. Two stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.