Monday, July 23, 2007
Love According to Lily – Julianne Mac Lean
I did enjoy reading this book although not as much as To Marry a Duke. This is it’s sequel, the story of James’s sister Lily and his friend Whitby. Actually there are 2 sequels to TMTD because it’s the first book in 2 different series even if it doesn’t appear as the first book in the Lover series.
Being raised in a strict, humorless household did nothing to dampen Lady Lily Langdon's romantic nature -- nor cool her lifelong affection for Edward Wallis, Earl of Whitby, her elder brother's oldest, dearest friend. But Edward cannot see the lovely woman she's become for the wild schoolgirl she once was. So with lessons in flirtation from her American sister-in-law, Duchess Sophia, Lily means to open Edward's eyes and win his heart.
But just when her seduction begins to take hold, tragedy strikes. Edward has lived a rakish life, believing he would never grow old -- and a terrible twist of fate threatens to prove him right. Yet adversity only strengthens Lily's resolve to find the ecstasy she knows is waiting in Edward's arms -- and to prove to the handsome, haunted earl that it is never too late to fall desperately in love.
Lily has been in love with Whitby for most of her life but she is fully resigned to marry someone else. He has always treated her as a little sister and she has been on the shelf for quite sometime now so she decides to use her brother’s hunting party to get closer to the suitor her mother as chosen for her.
However her intentions change when he seems to show some interest in her, even if the non commitment kind, and eventually falls ill to what is at first assumed to be Hodgkins disease. Faced with the possibility of death and knowing that if Whitby dies without an heir his home and fortune will be left to his estranged cousin who can’t be relied upon to take care of Whitby’s sister Lily thinks of a plan to provide an heir and at the same time to be with him in the last months of his life – marriage. She manages to convince him and after the marriage they spend some time together thinking to make the best of what time they have. However the results of the exams came back showing Whitby isn’t dying.
Lily and Whitby’s reaction to knowing he wasn’t dying were negative and that’s when their relationship faces some problems. Lily’s afraid Whitby is feeling imprisoned in a marriage he doesn’t want now that he knows he isn’t dying. I could understand those feeling especially because they weren’t talking with each other but I felt she should have confronted him with it. And Whitby actually feels imprisoned for a while which really annoyed. He was at first attracted to Lily but he didn’t wan’t to assume it, then he lets himself be convinced to marry her and even behaves as he has fallen in love with her, and suddenly when he knows he isn’t dying anymore he just closes himself up and let’s her believe he is regretting their marriage. Even if it was so she married him to give him an heir and maintain his sister with a home, he should be at least thankful.
Then Lily becames ill also and Whitby is forced to confront his feelings for her. I felt he came across as a very weak hero who first lets himself be convinced to marry Lily and then suffers too many doubts about his situation. Lily is too romantic and that colours the way she sees life but she is also a lot younger than he is and so I didn’t feel as annoyed by her actions. Despite that I still found it a nice read even if very inferior to To Marry The Duke. Now I have great expectations for Whitby’s (adopted) sister and his cousin story which is Portrait of a Lover.