A False ProposalHaslemere Men, 1Historical RomanceEntangled Publishing, LLCJune 20, 2016
War hero Adam Grey returns home with a burning ambition to run for Parliament. But he needs the support of the local baronet, who controls the seat. Adam’s plans are thwarted by his dissolute father, who has promised him to the baronet’s daughter in return for forgiveness of his debts. Adam wants nothing to do with marriage or his father’s problems, so he fakes an engagement to Cass Linford-his best friend’s sister.
Cass has been through hell since she last saw Adam. Her betrothed committed suicide, forcing her to withdraw from London society. Heartbroken, she’s given up on marriage. So when Adam suggests a temporary engagement, she agrees. He needs help with his campaign, and Cass can’t resist his charm or the chance to be involved in politics. It all seems so easy, until she finds herself falling in love with her fake fiancé.
I enjoyed this story a lot. The two main characters, Cass Linford and Adam Grey, were three-dimensional, interesting in their own rights, and played well with each other. They respected and helped each other, and shared some really nice chemistry. The side characters, especially Cass’ brother, sister-in-law, and Adam’s brother, were entertaining while revealing new information about the main characters.
The main plot wasn’t exactly unique, but Adam’s backstory was seemed very fresh (at least in the context of fake engagement/marriage stories) and was handled artfully.
The main thing that prevented this from getting 5 stars was that the main obstacle between the two lovebirds is Cass’ belief that she is to blame for her last betrothed’s death. It’s an over-emotional, nonsensical excuse to begin with, but sticks out like a sore thumb even more given how “intelligent” Cass is portrayed to be throughout the whole book. If she had been described as more dim-witted, this would have made sense, but I also probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the book as much had that been the case.
All in all, a fun book, but with a pretty flimsy obstacle when it comes down to it.