If the Viscount Falls
If the Viscount Falls is a decent book about decent people who have some basic communication issues. There’s a little bit of a mystery in it, which is nice, but overall it felt like the bland sort of book you’d be happy to pick up when you’re bored. I didn’t dislike it, but I wasn’t overcome by enthusiasm while reading it either.
Dominic Manton was happily engaged to Jane Vernon once upon a time. They were young then, and so happy….until Dominic was disinherited by his brother and obliged to enter the workforce as a Bow Street Runner. Knowing that his life would no longer be worth sharing with Jane, he asked her to end their engagement. Jane refused, and so Dominic proceeded to dramatically betray Jane by attempting to seduce her cousin Nancy. Jane ended the engagement, Nancy married Dominic’s odious brother, and everyone went about their life.
Twelve years later, Dominic’s brother is dead and he finds himself the new Viscount Rathmoor. Naturally, he regrets having ended things with Jane, but isn’t sure how to rekindle their relationship at this point, especially because he knows Jane can’t get past his betrayal. Luckily for him, his ex-fiancée had the brains to intuit the reasons for his “betrayal” long ago, and she’s not at all averse to taking him back, provided he understands he cannot make decisions about her future for her. When Nancy disappears, it’s the perfect excuse for Jane and Dominic to see each other and begin the process of reuniting.
The best and worst thing I can say about this book is that it wasn’t terribly memorable. For instance, in the few days between when I started writing this review and now, when I’m finishing it, I forgot what the main characters were named. That said, I also realized that not one part of the book struck me as truly bad. Jane and Dominic are good characters who have honest issues to deal with. In each of their arguments, both remain reasonable and come armed with logic—a rare and refreshing happenstance.
The only other thing I would mention is that the mystery surrounding Nancy’s disappearance was very well done—it may not have kept my eyes glued to each page, but nor was it predictable. I think there are many, many less enjoyable books to be read than this one, which is at its heart a decent (if somewhat forgettable) story about decent people.