After waiting five years for her fiancé to return from the war and marry her, Roxana Langley has been jilted! She may have longed for excitement, but this was not what she had in mind…
Who could possibly throw over a woman as beautiful and vivacious as Roxana? Certainly not Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, who has spent years trying in vain to forget his unrequited love. When he learns she’s been abandoned by her cad of a fiancé, he finds himself offering a shoulder for her to cry on. Comfort soon turns into a passionate kiss—and scandal when they are caught in an embrace.
Only one thing will save Roxana from certain ruination: marriage to the earl. The match may save her reputation, but responsible, tongue-tied Ayersley is a far cry from her dashing former fiancé. She’s convinced Ayersley is merely doing his duty…while he’s sure Roxana is still in love with another man. Are they trading one disaster for another?
Every so often, I just want a read a bodice ripper. Listen, I never said I was proud of it, but there it is. Sometimes I want to read horror, sometimes I want to read sci-fi, sometimes I want to read about stays being too tight and the best way to remedy that. Not that I actually know what stays are… but still. Recently I had one of those moments, and luckily enough I had “Ruined by Rumor” standing by courtesy of Netgalley.
Uh… yeah… about that…
I feel for romance writers. I really do. They don’t have the crutch of vampires, or mysteries, or sparkly rainbow unicorns to drive their story. All they have is these two characters who make the most unlikely pair and their romance to move along the plot. As such, sometimes they tend to fall back on the crutch that is “let’s not discuss how we’re feeling, because that’s a lot of fun.”
“Ruined by Rumor” took this idea TO THE X-TREME. One other reviewer said it was to the point of absurdity, and I’m inclined to agree. Seriously, you can only misinterpret or keep your mouth shut for so long before SOMETHING slips out and things are cleared up and then we all laugh… but not Roxana and Ayersely. No, they make miscommunication an art form. A painful, painful artform.
That’s not to say the book isn’t without merit. I really liked the character Ayersely. He’s strong and handsome, but in that quiet and understated way. He’s honorable and kind and selfless and madly in love with his childhood best friends little sister. Roxana is… Roxana is… Well you see she’s… Well I really liked her, but she went from childish gossipmonger to confused young woman to wife desperate to keep her husband’s attentions all in the span of 250 pages. It’s too much. She changes too quickly. I still like the character, and I like who she ends up being, but there were a few whiplash moments.
All the other characters though, aces. Mr. Dean, Miss Fanny, the parents, the siblings, the random strangers you meet for 2 paragraphs, all aces.
3 stars. It’s a cute story, but it feels a bit rushed, especially the end. Which is odd considering the rumor that ruins doesn’t come into play until a good way into the book. Roxana has a mercurial personality. Oh, and let’s not forget that they use American idioms in a historical novel set in Brittan.
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