Review: Born to Be Wilde by Eloisa James

Reviewed by Jen

Generally, I’m down for a good enemies to lovers story, mostly because they’ve usually got a fair amount of fire and angst. It was the reason I was looking forward to this book. Eloisa James did a good job laying the groundwork for this constantly sniping duo over the course of the series’ first two books. The story itself was slightly less exciting.

I feel like I already knew Lavina from her association with the first two heroines. She is lovely, though maybe a bit flighty, and there isn’t a man around who doesn’t want to make her his bride. Well, nobody except for Parth. For some reason, the adopted brother of the Wilde clan treated her with mild disdain and she reciprocated with unflattering nicknames every time she spoke of him. But now, as this story begins, she is ready to propose to him.

I thought that was a bit jarring. Yes, her friend suggested it and Lavina was in a world of financial trouble, but by all accounts, Lavina thought very little of Parth up to this point. It bothered me that she would propose to him right off the bat. Goodness knows, she’d had plenty of other offers before then. Though he says no, as the story progresses, we are led to believe Lavina has acted the way she has toward Parth because she was interested in him all along… and his behavior toward her was motivated by a similar attraction. But I felt that was way, way too convenient and I would have liked to see them going from actually not liking each other to falling in love.

Anyway, not only was Lavina’s mom stealing to pay for their lifestyle, it turns out she’s a drug addict and has to go into a sanitarium. (I didn’t see that one coming.) Lavina’s got to pull herself up by the bootstraps and either make a good match or find a way to earn the money to pay folks back on her own. Her wonderful fashion sense ends up being her financial ticket, but Parth decides to help her find a wealthy husband to boot. He, meanwhile, decides to court an entirely different woman and woo her for marriage.

I had issues. Like I said, I didn’t believe in the idea that these two were always attracted to each other. I didn’t like how Parth backslid on Lavina so late in the game. The black moment felt contrived and the characters should have been beyond that by the point in the book where it happened. And there was this whole thread about Lavina losing weight that was protracted and frequently referenced, only to go absolutely nowhere. I thought that, for sure, as often as it came up it had to mean something. But no.

That’s not to say that it was bad. I was just… underwhelmed. I liked Lavina and her character arc as she really grew to see the value in herself. And I think Parth had a lot of potential. I just don’t think he worked hard enough to win his heroine until the very end… and at times lacked the courage of his conviction when it came to giving his heart and his trust to the relationship.

Not my favorite in this series.

Rating: B-/C+

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Born to Be Wilde
by Eloisa James
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Publisher: Avon

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