Review: Lady Windermere’s Lover by Miranda Neville

lady windermeres loverReviewed by Jen

I had some issues with this book.  OK, one issue primarily.  I didn’t like the hero.  That’s a pretty big obstacle to overcome.  In fact, I found myself rooting for “the other guy” to win the heroine.  This, even though she was already married and I hate adultery storylines.  I didn’t dislike the entire book, but I just couldn’t get excited about the romance.

Damien, the Earl of Windermere, only married Cynthia because of a bad game of cards.  He got drunk on his 21st birthday and lost his mother’s ancestral home.  He actually lost it to a friend, but that friend was just as loaded and lost it to a third party.  He never got over it and he never forgave Julian, the friend who carted his unconscious butt away from the card game before securing the property.  Over the years, Damien has tried to buy back the home, but the new owner refused, until now.  Damien can get the property back when he marries the owner’s niece.

Cynthia had no idea about the machinations behind her match. But it was clear very quickly that her new husband was not enthused about the wedding. He was unkind to her in the early days of their marriage. He was impatient. He was insulting. He was flat out rude. He bedded her without so much as a kiss. And then he left on a diplomatic mission for his job.

He stayed gone for a year. In his absence she realized she was pregnant, she lost the baby, and she had to grieve alone. He barely wrote her. He seemed completely on interested in her as a wife or even as a person.  So when his former friend Julian began paying attention to her, it was hard to ignore.  Yet she stayed virtuous, short of one stolen kiss.

Now Damien is back.  And his job requires him to get close to Julian again.  He barely recognizes Cynthia as the wife he left behind. But he quickly catches on that there is something between his wife and his former buddy.  Only then does he seem interested in kindling the spark of his marriage.

I won’t get into the particulars of how it all plays out. The bottom line is I thought Damien’s treatment of Cynthia was abominable… Both before he left her and afterward.  He had no faith in her. He accused her of things she didn’t do. He took no stock in her intelligence. He insulted her and yet because he wanted to get in her pants, we are supposed to think this is a romance to root for?  At least Julian recognized that she was a woman of worth. It took Damien way too long to reach the same very obvious conclusion.  For much of the book it felt like the only reason Damien wanted to keep her was because he wanted to sleep with her and simply because he did not want Julian to have her. That is pathetic.  On top of that, I felt like his animosity towards Julian was based on a very flimsy premise. Julian wasn’t the one responsible for his stupid behavior as a young man. Julian just carted his drunk ass home. That is not a reason to start their ridiculous vendetta.

I did like Cynthia. She managed to transform herself by picking herself up by the bootstraps.  And she managed to make a difference in the lives of others who were worse off than she was.  I also have to give her kudos for staying faithful given what she had to deal with.

I thought the love scenes were good. And the resolution played out fairly well. But overall, this wasn’t one of Miranda Neville’s more satisfying reads.

Rating: C/C-

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon

Lady Windermere’s Lover
by Miranda Neville
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Avon

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