Vivienne Lorret, the USA Today bestselling author of The Maddening Lord Montwood, begins a new series with a scandalous bet that could turn one quiet woman into the most desirable debutante of the season.
From the Season Standard: “A true Season’s Original embodies the class, grace, and style of the ton. Such an honor ensures the recipient her pick of eligible suitors…”
Lilah Appleton’s prospects are looking dim. With one last chance to find a titled husband before she’s forced to wed her wretched cousin, she must make this Season count. Plain, forgettable Lilah must become the Season’s Original. Desperate, she seeks help from the devilishly charming, untitled, and thoroughly unsuitable Jack Marlowe. All she must do now is resist the tempting rogue…
Bastard son and self-made man, Jack Marlowe loathes the aristocracy. When he meets Lilah, he expects her to be like all the other greedy husband-hunters. But she’s far more dangerous. Her alluring smiles and sharp tongue intrigue him. Before he knows it, he agrees to help her find a husband, revealing tricks to ensnare any man. The only problem is, his plan works too well—on him.
When Lilah becomes the belle of the ball, Jack realizes he may lose her forever—unless he can take a chance on love and claim his debutante...
An Avon Romance
A will and a bet create the drama in the riveting first Season's Original novel from Lorret (All I Want for Christmas Is a Duke), set in Regency-era London. According to her father's will, Miss Lilah Appleton has until the end of her third season to find a noble husband; if she fails, she has to marry her horrible cousin. The final season has arrived and none of the gentlemen she's met even remembers her name, nor has anyone offered a proposal. When confirmed bachelor Jack Marlowe meets Lilah, he's intrigued by her sharp wit and scolding tongue, and he immediately takes a liking to her. When he learns that her predicament could result in a life similar to his mother's, he becomes determined to prevent that fate and therefore offers to assist her in finding a suitable husband. They fall in love, but because of his status, a match between them will not satisfy the requirements of the will. A well-crafted plot, well-developed characters, and last-minute revelations set the bar high for the sequels.
leave you satisfied and smiling, with only a few moments of angst along the way.
So – little secret – I requested this book the moment I saw it available. Devoured it – and forgot to write my review – and had to read it again. And I think it was better the second time around.
Lilah has One Chance to make a splash during her third and final season and procure a proposal, or she’ll be married off to her cousin. She not only wants to make A Splash, she wants to be The Original, upon whom all other debutantes and girls of marriageable age fail to measure up. There’s only one problem: she doesn’t see herself as particularly wondrous, just desperately in need of a proposal.
Jack is the son of an Earl, but born on the wrong side of the blanket. He’s decided he’s not interested in marriage or the machinations of society, and has worked hard to make something of his own life apart and aside from his titled father. Until recently, he was ignored by his father, and he’s not particularly interested in his assistance now. But, his friend who is married to Lilah’s best friend has asked him to deliver her some flowers, mostly to help stir interest in the young girl.
And when the flowers are delivered, it sets off a chain reaction of events that has Jack wondering if his friend’s theory of ‘matchmaking’ actually works. Delightful and wonderful, Lilah takes the bull by the horns and asks Jack, as just a friend mind, to help turn her into an irresistible catch. He sees little wrong with the prospect, and begins to help her achieve her goals, but he sees that even before all the changes, Lilah is near perfection….. for him.
Charming characters with wonderful dialogue and a few stolen kisses added a sweetness to this story that overcame the couple’s own insecurities and difficult moments. Together they are wonderful, and Lilah blossoms under Jack’s attentions, even as she has momentary thoughts that he’s the one, title or no. With moments from other characters from The Duke’s Christmas Wish (a novella prequel of sorts) the story is rich and emotionally available. Lorret is an author you just want to read – her stories leave you satisfied and smiling, with only a few moments of angst along the way.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.