Monday, December 8, 2014

ARC Review: The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding by Victoria Alexander

Title: Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding
by Victoria Alexander
Series: Millworth Manor #4
Publisher: Kensington (Zebra)
Publication date: October 28, 2014
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
Received by: NetGalley

The bride and groom cordially request your presence for a wedding at Millworth Manor. . .
Guests will include Jackson Quincy Graham Channing, New York City banker, and Lady Theodosia "Teddy" Winslow, wedding planner to the finest families in England.

Introductions shall be followed by light conversation, dancing, flirtation, arguing, reconciliation, and an impulsive kiss that both parties are quite certain they will never repeat.

Until they do.

A mutually beneficial fake engagement will be accompanied by all manner of very real complications, scandalous revelations, nefarious schemes, and one inescapable conclusion:

That true love--unlike the perfect wedding--is impossible to plan. . .

What does a staid American banker and a "hobby party planning" British Lady have in common?
They both only thought they knew how their lives would unfold.

     Victoria Alexander takes us to 1887 to the end of the Victorian Era. People are funding Automobiles, and it only takes a week to cross the Atlantic. The Shocking Secret of a guest at the Wedding is the 4th in Victoria Alexander's Millworth Manor series.
     I have to start off by saying, I struggled through this book. It was disappointing as I love Ms.Alexander's writing! There is so much that goes on in the first 3 books you would think you need to read those but the back history is provided for you in the first half. So much so that the story really lags.
     Jackson is shocked to the core when he meets his “dead” father and finds that he is heir to an English title. Having given up on his dreams of adventure for his future in banking, this news sends him on his own adventure. I found Jackson a bit dull, somewhat chauvinistic, and is only likeable for a short time.
     Lady Theadosia, Teddy, has had to learn to survive after her father’s death. He left a massive amount of debt and she has been attempting to pay it off through the party planning business she and her mother runs. Although of course to maintain her standing in the Ton she pretends it’s a hobby, so her reputation isn't sullied. What I don’t understand is why her cousin didn't inherit the debt when he came into title and why he doesn’t provide for her and her mother. As to her character, I loved Teddy. She was strong, independent, and a survivor.
     The romance, if you can call it that, between Teddy and Jack was barely there. The attraction started off right way and you could see that it was mutual. Jackson having called Teddy “an adventure” was one of his better scenes. The romance begins to fall flat when Teddy discovers Jacksons’ secret. She feels she was lied to and that is a huge turn off for her. It does pick up again but then at the end she makes a ridiculous decision that effects them both and the results are less than satisfying.
     I won’t give up on Ms. Alexander though!  Her next book in this series features Lucy and Cameron Effington. Lucy seems like a firecracker! Sigh, an Effington. I loved that series!

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.