ARC Review: Never Fall for Your Fiancée by Virginia Heath

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ARC Review: Never Fall for Your Fiancée by Virginia Heath
Never Fall for Your Fiancée

3.5 Stars

Book Info

Released: November 9th 2021
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Merriwell Sisters #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 368
Format: eARC

“I enjoyed it, but I felt that some of the characters lacked the depth I was looking for.”

~ Under the Covers

Never Fall for your Fiancee by Virginia Heath is a historical romance and marks the first book in the Merriwell Sisters series. The novel follows Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, a charming, flirtatious gentleman with commitment issues, thinking he inherited his father’s philanderer tendencies. However, his mother, well intentional mother, Olive, who lives overseas in America with her husband Jeremy, is adamant about seeing Hugh have his own happily ever after. She has continued to meddle in his love life even from across the pond.

To make his mother happy and maintain his sense of freedom from his overbearing mother, he created a fake fiancé named Minerva. But when his mother sends an unexpected letter announcing her visit to England to meet her soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Hugh realizes all of his carefully timed lies are due to explode. Until he bumps into a talented artist, creating woodcuts, needing to be paid for her services. Hugh intervenes, saving the damsel in distress.

Hugh can’t believe his luck when the stunning woman whom he helped is named Minerva.

Minerva Merriwell had to take care of her two younger sisters since their father abandoned them years ago. Since he had left, the family had been straddling the poverty line, while Minerva had done everything she could to provide a home for her sister.

Hugh realizes Minevera’s precarious financial situation and presents her with an offer she cannot turn down—forty pounds to act as his fiancée while his mother is visiting from America.

One thing Minevera and Hugh don’t account for is the undeniable chemistry that exists between them. Minerva and her two sisters arrive at the Fareham Estate, unbeknownst to Hugh: bold, intimidating, brass Diana already carries a strong disdain for Hugh. Vee is young, shy, has deep trouble adjusting to her role to play. They both present obstacles for the gang to maintain the charade in front of Olive.

Hugh is trapped in his house with his mother, the fake and two unreliable sisters. The book had witty banter that showcased the effortless banter between Minerva and Hugh. At the beginning of the book, when Hugh first makes the proposition to Minerva, the author omits to show the actual acceptance of Minerva and Hugh. I would have preferred that scene be included and more reliance on that irrefutable chemistry between the two. The supporting characters were all developed thoroughly and set the stage for them to be the main protagonists in the subsequent instalments in the series.

It was a quick read and had me laughing aloud, particularly around Diana and Vee’s antics and their opposition to their sister. Throughout the novel, Hugh struggles with inheriting his dysfunctional relationship patterns from his father. It didn’t seem to fit into the novel and felt illogical as an internal obstacle he was trying to work through. Additionally, I would have liked the end slowed down. It felt a bit rushed.

Overall, the storyline was predictable for this narrative trope. The plot was fun and over the top. I enjoyed it, but I felt that some of the characters lacked the depth I was looking for. While I liked the book, I’m not sure I would want to read the next instalments in the series.

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About Virginia Heath

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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Amy R

Thanks for the review.