The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount
You know those books that, even though there’s nothing overtly wrong, just never take off? The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount is a perfect example of this lackluster group.
Perhaps the cutesy-poo series title – The Desperate Debutantes, no less – should have been a clue, but I have too many fond memories of a few of Julia London’s previous historical romances to be deterred by that alone. But, then again, perhaps I should have gone with my instincts because I found myself actually flat-out bored while reading this book.
So, what’s the story? Lady Phoebe Fairchild winds up being blackmailed by a seamstress for whom she has secretly worked into traveling to the country to stay at the home of Viscount Sommerfield in order to design and make gowns for his sisters. So, our aristocratic heroine finds herself in a topsy-turvy world playing the awkward role of servant attempting to deal with bratty sisters and a sexy lord.
The viscount is a pleasant young man currently wracked with guilt over the fact that, while he was off enjoying a lengthy around-the-world tour, his father suffered a stroke and became disabled. To make matters worse, when he finally returned home, he found the estate in disrepair because his siblings were unable to get their hands on money and assets tied up in his name. Introducing his sisters to society is one way he plans to begin to make up for his absence to his family. And that’s where Phoebe comes in.
Of course, he’s attracted to Phoebe and she to him, but their relationship is complicated by the fact that he doesn’t know her true identity and believes her to be of the servant class.
And that’s about it. There are numerous encounters between Viscount and Phoebe, but none of them – and I mean none of them – catch fire. No chemistry, no nothing. Truly. I’ve counted on Julia London to be one of the more adult writers of historical romance, but, for whatever reason, I just didn’t feel it here. Both characters are pleasant enough, but they didn’t come to life for even one moment for me.
Matters are hampered even further, but a few heavy-handed appearances by the happy-and-fecund-beyond-belief couples from the previous novels in the trilogy. Sometimes these kind of appearances in books are fun and sometimes they are nauseating. Sadly, these are of the latter variety.
I love historical romances. I love being blown away by a great historical romance. But my tolerance for the lesser variety seems to be getting lower and lower. This one is average. And from a writer capable of better, it is a disappointment.