The Famous Heroine (Signet Regency Romance, AE 8773) by Mary Balogh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ms. Balogh herself says this book is a farce, so I knew beforehand I couldn't take it seriously if I intended to enjoy it.
I did have fun reading it and even laughed out loud a couple of times, but there was something missing... and it was the fact that I couldn't believe that the hero and the heroine were truly in love with each other. I didn't doubt they loved each other - as friends, not as lovers. I just couldn't shake the feeling that their marriage was more like a "friends with benefits" relationship than a "love match". The fact that Francis spent the whole - and I mean, the whole - book pining for Samantha, his former love interest, didn't help matters. He only realized that he had fallen "in love" with Cora in the last chapter of the book! Sorry, but I didn't buy it.
Regardless of that, I did loved Ms. Balogh's writing. She's got a knack for "transporting" me to Regency England and bringing her characters to life and, in this particular book, she kept me hooked even though I wanted to smack Francis for his constant mooning over Samantha. All things considered, Ms. Balogh's writing saved the book for me and made reading it a very enjoyable experience, despite the lack of a strong romance to support the plot. Good stuff! :)
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