It’s pretty much a given that I can’t turn down a blind hero. Losing his sight has changed almost everything about life for Cedric, Viscount Sheridan. He used to ride and hunt, play cards and seduce women. Now he can barely take a walk in his own garden without falling flat on his face. But the appearance of a lady from his past will utterly change his course, yet again.
Cedric once tried to court Lady Anne without success. Now, she is back in his life, asking to marry him. Her father is dead and she is weary of fortune hunters. She knows Cedric only wants her for herself, and she believes they could make a good life together. He is all too happy to oblige.
But Anne has a Secret. It’s not a secret that she should be rejected for, but as Big Secrets do, it hangs over her head through much of the book, just waiting to blow up in her face. I felt like the way it all played out was rather contrived, from the way he found out to the way he reacted, to (especially) the way he found out he was wrong. None of it rang true. It felt like a string of plot devices designed to get his character to certain emotional responses. Not only did it stomp through my suspension of disbelief, it cast the hero in a pretty unfavorable light.
Then there is Cedric’s physical prowess. This guy had sex in a crowded ball with some lady because he was jealous over a stranger dancing with another man. OK, I get that he’s a rake, but the jealousy at that point was silly. And more than once, he likens initiating a lover like taming a colt. Just no. It’s not that I disliked him, because he is actually pretty sympathetic in a lot of ways, but the way the author fashioned some of his dialogue and reactions kept me from going all in with him.
This is book three in The League of Rogue series, and there were varied and frequent references to the other rogues in the group… not just from past stories, but clear set ups for future ones. It was a little too much and, for me, detracted from the main romance. A little reference to the past events and just one romantic set-up would have been preferable.
It’s not a bad romance. But for me, it wasn’t especially good either. And that is without even getting into the over-the-top, practically moustache-twirling villain… or the too-good-to-be-true ending you could see coming a mile away. I think the author was trying to cram in too much, without giving enough attention to creating a real emotional connection.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Her Wicked Proposal
by Lauren Smith
Release Date: January 19, 2016