Monday, June 22, 2015

The Beauty of You by Jennifer Wenn

Published & Release Date: Wild Rose Press, February 6, 2015

Time and setting: 1814 Berkshire, England  

Genre: Historical Regency Romance

Length: 324 pages

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame

Rating: 3 Gold Crowns

When Sinclair Darling, the Earl of Chilton, is suddenly tricked into marrying, he’s beyond furious, even though the girl is known as the Incomparable Queen of the ton because of her beauty. Taken aback by his new wife's spoiled behavior and seeming coldhearted selfishness, Sin desperately tries to hide that he's not the unwilling husband she thinks him to be — he has admired her from afar for years. 

In the eyes of polite society, Lady Charmaine de Vere has it all—beauty, wit, and now marriage to the heir of one of the wealthiest dukedoms in England. But behind the shiny exterior a dark secret lurks, a secret she would do anything to save her sister from--even sacrifice her one chance for marital bliss.

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Vikki’s Musings

I had read Never Had a Dream Come True last year, and while I had a few issues with it, I enjoyed the book, so I agreed to review this novel for an honest review. Unfortunately, I had more problems with this story than the other one. I struggled to finish The Beauty of You because there are just too many inconsistencies with the story and the characters.

Lady Chairmaine de Vere has trapped Sinclair Darling, the Earl of Chilton into marriage. He is not happy about it even though he has loved Chairmaine from a far, ever since her entrance into society.
Chairmaine is not in love with Sin, but she needs the safety of his powerful family. She has presented a reserved, almost cold appearance for years and attracted dozens of suitor, but only one ever captured her heart. However, her stepfather denied his suit and the lord married another. Her stepfather is the reason she needs protection and safety.

Can two people determined to remain distant from each other, find common ground on which to build a loving marriage, or will Chairmaine’s veneer of indifference keep them apart, forever locking them into a marriage far from heavenly?

The beginning of this story started out promising, grabbing my attention because I just had to know what Chairmaine’s deep, dark secret was. However, the story has so many plot holes that I found it very hard to read. I did enjoy some of the banter between the Darling family, although, the dialogue is entirely too modern and inappropriate for a Regency period piece.

I also struggled with the characterization. I never fully warmed up to either character. Many times their reactions to events were very much out of character. At one point, Sin finds Chairmaine having a conversation with the suitor from her past, a man she had thought she was in love with, and some of the statements she makes in front of her husband should have had him furious, instead he laughs the comments off. This entire part of the story made no sense at all to me, and I scratched my head in disbelief. In fact, I had several such moments as I continued reading.

At times, it was difficult to know who was speaking and characters were there suddenly, characters that had no introduction at all. The story also jumped from scene to scene quite abruptly. One minute they are visiting Sin’s sisters day away, and in the next chapter, they are back in Berkshire with no comment of the change of venue. I found myself having to backtrack to make sense of what was happening.

Nonetheless, there are elements of The Beauty of You that were quite enjoyable, and I did enjoy reading about the characters in the other book, especially Uncle Rake. I always feel bad when I cannot rate a book high, but after all, I cannot love every book I read. I am sure other readers will enjoy some of the humor and have an entirely different opinion. This book does have a very nicely written ending that tied up any dangling plot points. Happy reading!


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