Reviewed by Nigella.
To Tempt a Viscount by Naomi Broom
The book blurb -
Lady Laura Rosing knows two things: first, she will marry for love, and second, she detests rakes. When she meets Lord Gavin Farris, she understands immediately that he fails both her criteria, and worse yet, he is an absolute cad who refuses to leave her be.
Lord Farris has always appreciated women and cannot understand why Lady Laura is so resistant to his charms. While pretty, she is not his usual type, but something about her intrigues him. Much to his chagrin, he finds himself desperately in love with her, but he may be too late. His adamant refusal to marry just might have planted her firmly in the arms of another.
Nigella’s Review –
When debut historical novels come my way I expect to encounter the occasional gaffe and allowances have to be made for new and aspiring authors of historical romances. It is a given periods of history require a tedious amount of research, and onus lies very much in the hands of the author to provide a time setting. Sadly nothing inside this book relates to the Regency era and what is more, a heroine of supposed good breeding daring to spout ‘bloody hell’ — not once, but several times — simply does the author no favours.
Quote: Just then the carriage hit a bump, and Laura could not help the words that issued forth. “Bloody hell.” Covering her mouth, she grimaced. She was not supposed to know such words, but she liked to read, and certain things were unavoidable in the good books.
Here is where the reader begins to ponder precisely in which era the heroine Laura, is cavorting. A good book [novel] for a young lady during the Regency era would be genteel prose, ie; Jane Austen and Ann Radcliffe were contemporary novelists of Laura’s time. In addition to the heroine’s young years, torches beneath the bed covers for reading crude books were not available in the Regency era. Laura would for a greater part of her reading time be in full view of other members of her family. It is also abundantly clear she has an aunt for a chaperone. Would that aunt condone the reading of unsuitable novels? Another thing that struck me as odd was the lack of richly embellished Regency settings. This novel has no time scale, nothing to reflect this particular period in history.
Setting to one side qualms as stated above the story itself is a sweet romance, and to a great extent, a farcical comic romp. Conflict between the hero and heroine is the overriding theme from start to finish involving misunderstandings and peevishly annoying incidents. Laura is constantly at odds with Farris and Laura’s irrational behaviour and Farris’s dull-wittedness strays to realms of romantic insanity. However the fact they will fall in love is a certainty. There are touchingly romantic scenes in which Farris shines through as a hero should, and every single time Laura resorts to slightly ridiculous reasons to be rude and unladylike. Laura is plain rude and unlikeable at the start and while it is hoped she will moderate her rudeness, warming to Laura as a historical heroine is not easy. She fails utterly as the epitome of a lady of good birth, a young lady with an additional rebel persona who would endear a reader to her side. I really did not like Laura at all. There are a good many characters who hang out with Laura, Some are more interesting than others. Some I felt needed a little more fleshing. They lacked sparkle and personality, and whether the author intended for her heroine to appear as a modern miss lacking in affability and therefore appeal to a YA readership is impossible to tell. I think readers who prefer uncomplicated plots and extreme conflict will go a bundle on this novel.