The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, ever wants is a wife. Unfortunately for him, his mother is determined to find him one, even from across the other side of the ocean. So, Hugh invents a fake fiancée to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay. But when Hugh learns his interfering mother is on a ship bound for England, he realizes his complicated, convoluted but convenient ruse is about to implode. Until he collides with a beautiful woman, who might just be the miracle he needs.
Minerva Merriwell has had to struggle to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since their feckless father abandoned them. Work as a woodcut engraver is few and far between, and the Merriwell sisters are nearly penniless. So, when Hugh asks Minerva to pose as his fiancée while his mother is visiting, she knows that while the scheme sounds ludicrous, the offer is too good to pass up.
Once Minerva and her sisters arrive at Hugh’s estate, of course, nothing goes according to his meticulous plan. As hilarity and miscommunication ensue, while everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight, Hugh and Minerva’s fake engagement starts to turn into a real romance. But can they trust each other, when their relationship started with a lie?
This was such a fun read! I enjoyed all the characters—except Vee—and found it quite funny as well. Hugh’s voice really had me laughing. He’s so dramatic and dry at the same time—and he thinks he’s destined to following his father’s footsteps, which is ridiculous. Minerva is a wonderful character, too, and I enjoyed her point-of-view very much. I’d definitely be interested in reading more about these characters.
Virginia Heath Lives in London. Never Fall for Your Fiancée is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)