Confessions From An Arranged Marriage by Miranda Neville

Title: Confessions From An Arranged Marriage

Series: The Burgundy Club #4

Author: Miranda Neville

Genre: Historical, Regency

They couldn’t be more different, but there’s one thing they agree on.
In London after a two-year exile, Lord Blakeney plans to cut a swathe through the bedchambers of the demimonde. Marriage is not on his agenda, especially to an annoying chit like Minerva Montrose, with her superior attitude and a tendency to get into trouble. And certainly the last man Minerva wants is Blake, a careless wastrel without a thought in his handsome head.

The heat and noise of her debutante ball give Minerva a migraine. Surely a moment’s rest could do no harm … until Blake mistakes her for another lady, leaving Minerva’s guests to catch them in a very compromising position. To her horror, the scandal will force them to do the unthinkable: marry. Their mutual loathing blazes into unexpected passion but Blake remains distant, desperate to hide a shameful secret. Minerva’s never been a woman to take things lying down, and she’ll let nothing stop her from winning his trust … and his heart.

When I first saw that Minerva was going to get her own book (yay!) and that she was going to be paired with Blake (yay!!!–I’m all about redeemed heroes 🙂 ) I couldn’t wait for this book to come out. Yet after reading Confessions From An Arranged Marriage, while I found it enjoyable, I must confess that it didn’t quite meet the standard I’m used to from previous Miranda Neville books.

At the beginning, Minerva and Blake are at odds because he shows up late to dance with her (at a ball where he’s required to dance with her), then later on in the ball they are caught in a compromising position (which was hard for me to read, as it seemed rather convenient as a case of mistaken identity combined with inebriation, etc.). Thus they are forced to marry.

Up to this point in the book and continuing until  the time they are married, I expected a little more chemistry between them. Not the kind necessarily where they’re pretending to like each other–because it’s obvious they truly don’t–but where they’re at least fighting their sexual attraction–because it is obvious they have this. And yet, nothing. Or at least very little. I think this is the part about the book that made it a disappointment for me. If I had seen more chemistry at the beginning of the book, this would easily have been a A grade romance. Unfortunately, the chemistry doesn’t begin until we’re quite far into the book, when Blake and Minerva go to France.

Once they start interacting with each other in France and then return to England, the story became absolutely wonderful and even made me tear up (a usual keeper sign). Perhaps the author didn’t feel invested in the characters until they went to France? I’m not sure. I wish I could give this book a higher rating, I truly do. But even the politics in the book (of which there was quite a bit, made to fit the heroine’s character, and because of this I didn’t mind them) were better than the book’s beginning.

With all that being said, I still recommend this book. The last two-thirds very much make up for the first third.

Grade: B

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