In My Wildest Fantasies
In My Wildest Fantasies has one of the more unusual premises for a new series in which four sons of an aristocratic family must wed: they believe their father to be mad.
The Duke of Pembroke has indeed gone around the bend, spending his time moving plants around in the garden to save them from the coming flood, muttering that the family is cursed and the only way to avert disaster is for his sons to marry. He’s gone so far as to change his will, disinheriting them unless they all marry by Christmas. The family is reluctant to put the duke through a competency hearing and have recalled home the prodigal eldest son, Devon Sinclair. He arrives just in time for a house party his father has arranged in order to engage Devon to the bride of the duke’s choice.
Also attending the party is Lady Rebecca Newland who has worshipped Devon as her knight in shining armor for years since he saved her and her father from a runaway coach. Rebecca’s father, for reasons unknown to her, has betrothed her to a nasty piece of work neighbor. Desperate to get out of the marriage, she and her aunt slip out of their home to attend the house party where Rebecca intends to attract Devon’s attention and winkle a proposal out of him before her father or fiancé get wind of it. Devon remembers Rebecca and the flames of attraction he felt when he rescued her are easily fanned – especially when he compares her to the ice princess his father has chosen.
Devon grew up to be one of those heroic men who always do the right thing, who goes out of his way to help others – just a real good guy. However, the past few years have turned him into a tortured soul and left him estranged from his family after an incident between himself and his brother Vincent’s fiancée left the woman dead and Devon wracked with guilt. He’s been in America for several years and only reluctantly returns home. He is loath to take on responsibility for his family declaring that he is no one’s hero, even as he shoulders those burdens he says he doesn’t want.
Rebecca believes Devon to be her hero still and knows he will save her from her predicament, even as she uses a bit of subterfuge to help it along. She is frantic to rid herself of her cruel fiancé, and bewildered and angry with her father for putting her in this situation. She takes solace in, and fuels her romantic fantasies by reading a diary she found in a secret compartment in her home. This diary is one of my problems with the book.
The diary chronicles the love affair of its author with a lowly estate worker, complete with vivid descriptions of their sexual antics. There are several excerpts related and they read like an early 1980s bodice ripper, replete with heaving breasts, moist womanhoods, and of course, throbbing manhoods. All this extracurricular reading leaves Rebecca one of those virgin sex kittens – eager and adept beyond her experience. This subplot left me cold, for it was completely unnecessary and there only to up the hot quotient – which it failed to do, in my opinion.
In My Wildest Fantasies has an interesting premise and engaging leads, but the diary, the over the top villain and melodramatic ending cancelled out those plusses for me, making this, in the end, an only average read. I may pick up the next book in the series in which the heartbroken and embittered Vincent finds love, for I did like the Sinclair family, in the hopes that the plotting is as engaging as the characters.