If circumstances were different, Philippa Dean would be happy to fall in love with Viscount Darleigh. He is certainly the perfect gentleman and everything her parents want: titled, handsome, respectable. His blindness only reinforces his quiet power and strength. But Philippa does not love him. Her heart is already taken and there is only one thing she can do: Thwart the matchmaking plans. Julian Crabbe is desperate to rescue the woman he fell in love with two years ago. Then, he was a reckless cub, justly earning Philippa’s parents’ scorn. Now, he is every inch a respectable suitor and determined to prove it before it is too late. Intrude on the viscount’s house party? Gladly. Interrupt the match of the season? Happily. For nothing can stop the power of a love that will not be denied.
The release of book 2 in the Survivor's Club series is just around the corner so I thought I should pick up this novella that is set between books 1 and 2 and gives us a glimpse of the hero of The Arrangement.
Although Balogh has written some of my all time favourite novellas this one was a complete disappointment. Normally Balogh's novellas are pretty good at giving in us the background for the h/h feelings and actions and to make us believe that they may fall in love in such a short number of pages.
In this one we have two problems - the first is that the couple fall in love off stage. When the story starts they already love each other and their relationship is at risk because the heroine's parents want her to marry Viscount Darleigh. I really prefer to have them fall in love during the course of the story (unless we are dealing with a second chance at love type of plot). And then there's really no big obstacle to their relationship as it is obvious from the beginning that the Viscount isn't really interested in marrying the heroine. She fears that he will propose and so plays a supposed trick to scare him but to me it was obvious that he wasn't going to e and she was in no danger to have to marry him.
We never get to know the hero as well as we do the heroine so we don't even know what made him fall violently in love and change his whole life for her. It's a bit easier to understand that a shy young girl may fall for an older, more experienced gentleman. So, what I usually love about these stories just wasn't there. Annoying especially as I always expect so much from Balogh's short stories.
Hopefully The Arrangement will be more to my taste.