February 25, 2015
"Oooooh! You're despicable!" - Daffy Duck
I’m a big fan of Laura Lee Guhrke, always have been. She can write strong female leads and
hot, manly men. She has done it again with Catch a Falling Heiress. This is the third in the American Heiress series and one of the good things about this book is that it isn’t in the Regency time period. Lately I’ve seen on television and in books, a lot of American women going to England and catching an English lord – must be the influence of Downton Abbey. And, I suspect this time period will become overused, just as the Regency is. Anyway, in this one we have Jack Featherstone, who is just finishing up the revenge he embarked on for his friend Stuart. He seems to be a bit of a misunderstood hero, because just when he should be celebrating a revenge-gone-good, he becomes entangled with Linnet Holland, a very rich heiress.
All through the book I had a great affection for Jack; I thought he was fun, intelligent and a bit misunderstood by our heroine. At a party he tries to save Linnets reputation by kissing her and then proposing marriage. He is sure that she will be forced into marriage with him - after all, isn’t that what happens all the time when one is caught in an awkward situation? Well, Linnet isn’t having any of that. Even though her reputation will suffer mightily, she turns him down. After a row with her overbearing father, she high-tails it to England along with her mother. Unbeknownst to Linnet, her father makes a money deal with Jack if Jack succeeds in marrying Linnet. It is this deal that is the secret which hangs over Jack's head during his pursuit of Linnet, and is also the plotline that we the reader know will rear its ugly head just when Linnet decides that she loves Jack, which it does.
While I enjoyed this story, it wasn’t the best Guhrke book I’ve ever read. I must admit that while I loved Jack, he wasn’t enough to make this book more than just a pleasant read. I think if I had liked the heroine better, I would have been happier with this story. Linnet has an anger problem; she’s mad alllll the time and most of that anger is directed toward Jack. Nothing he does seems to please her – she’s just angry, angry, angry. I found her anger very irritating, especially because Jack was such a charmer.
The other issue I had with this book was the epilogue, or lack thereof. I’m not sure why this story ended so abruptly, but it did. A couple of loose ends needed to be tied up and we the readers needed to see the hero and heroine having a picnic with their children and friends. The ending reminded me of some old-school romance when the stories ended with a marriage proposal and acceptance. I need more than that for an ending when I’m reading a romance book, especially with this couple; after all, she could change her mind.
Overall, this was a pleasant read with a charming hero. It’s a nice addition to the series; however the heroine was way too angry for way too long.
Time/Place: United States/England 1880s