Heiress in Love by Christina Brooke

January 30, 2012
It's the dreaded Ministry of Magic.  Wait a minute.  What's that you say?  Oops, it's the Ministry of Marriage series.  And It's not dreaded.  Unless, of course you don't want to get married.

And in Heiress in Love by Christina Brooke, AKA Christine Wells, our hero Constantine does-not-want-to-get-married.  Our heroine, Jane, isn't exactly keen on the idea of remarriage either.  However, these two really do not have any control over their own destiny.  The Ministry of Mag Marriage does.  Whoever they may be.

Thanks to a fellow romance lovers recommendation I was able to enjoy Heiress in Love, which was published in 2011.  So, I missed it first time around.  This story had a lot going for it.  Interesting enough, it also had numerous irritating moments.  Let's explore these ups and downs, shall we?

Here's a short synopsis of the plot.  The Duke of Montford is guardian to a flock of children.  We don't know why he is.  We don't know their backgrounds.  And, at least in this book, we never find out.  I was actually hoping that Montford was the hero of the book, but n-o-o-o, twas not to be.  Throughout the book he remains an enigmatic figure, mumbling and grumbling about the e-v-i-l-s of love/passion.  While he is doing this, he is also casting heavy lidded glances aimed at Lady Arlin (a fellow Ministry of Mag Marriage member).  We don't know why; I'm assuming they have a past.  We are never told.  But hey, this story is not about them!  It is about the poor homeless or-ph-ans/lost waifs that Montford has collected.  Fast forward - the homeless or-ph-ans are grown and the meddling ministry has turned its attention to them.  We don't know how this group has the power to do this, we are never told.  But, any who, they are all about to be married, whether they want to be or not.  I think there are five of these homeless ones, so that means five stories.

Plot continues...Jane, Lady Roxdale has recently been widowed.  Her husband was Frederick, and he is a Romanceland typical "bad" husband.  Poor Jane, of course she never never never ever wants to get married again!  Ever!  Silly girl, resistance is futile.  She obviously forgot about the magical meddling ministry of marriage.  They're not really magical, however, they are meddling.

Then we have Constantine, you may recognize him from other books.  He's the devil-may-care, ne'er-do-well seducer of servants, a disgrace to his family.  Scandal follows him where ever he goes.  He's a gambler, a drunk, a womanizer.  Yep!  He's our hero.  And, he most definitely doesn't want to get married.  You see, he was betrayed and no one can trust him and he can't trust another woman to trust him because he was betrayed.  Scratch head here.

Oh by the way, did I forget to mention that Jane's first marriage to faithless Frederick was arranged by the ministry?  So, you see, we are dealing with people whose cognitive powers are just a little off.  I'm talking the ministry here.  Of course you know what the ministry is up to?  They are arranging things for the poor or-ph-an Jane.  Again.  Run, Constantine!

We are now ready for chapter four.  That might be an exaggeration, however that is only part of the storyline.  There is more!  There is Luke, the six year old scene stealer with the "who's his father" mystery.  We have a not-up-to-any-good neighbor and childhood friend of Constantine and Frederick - Trent.  By the way, Trent can fence and we are treated to some hippity-hoppity fencing scenes.  We have a mill that's losing money and country folk losing their homes and dams breaking and floods and...Well there is a lot going on in this book.

Now you might think I didn't care for this book.  Well, you would be wrong.  There were parts of this story that I liked a lot.  I enjoyed both Jane and Constantine.  The slow growth of their relationship was a pleasure to read.  I especially liked their bond with Luke.  It was both humorous and poignant and Luke seemed like a six year old child.

So, I was pretty much enjoying the book, watching as the love story unfolds, ignoring Constantine's occasional temper tantrums.  And then we have an out-of-the blue moment - a misunderstanding!  The hero goes down the "you don't trust me" road.  How does he know Jane doesn't trust him?  Because of the look on Jane's face.  Excuse me!  You're throwing a fit because of the way someone looked at you!  Well, for Pete’s sake, try telling her the truth.  But no, what we are treated to is an "I'm leaving because you don't trust me, even though I haven't explained anything to you-it's all about blind trust!  Trust!  Trust!"

So, that took what had been an enjoyable read up to that point down a notch.

There were also problems with Jane jumping to the wrong conclusion and running after Constantine when, in my opinion, he was the one at fault.  That whole jerk hero thing toward the end of the book got on every inch of my nerves.

Overall, this was a good book.  At least the beginning was; it wasn't until the Mr. Jekyll side of Constantine was revealed that Heiress in Love lost some of its appeal for me.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Hot

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The couple talked and tried to avoid the usual misunderstandings that pop up in books. Though I was exasperated over Constantine's fit at the end because Jane did not have complete faith in him after a short courtship, though she had suffered from the betrayal of an unfaithful husband. Let's ignore her baggage and be a jerk that she wasn't sensitive to his baggage. Otherwise I loved the story.