Born to be Wilde
Book 3 in the Wildes of Lindow Castle series
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (July 31, 2018)
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
The richest bachelor in England plays matchmaker…for a heiress he wants for himself!
For beautiful, witty Lavinia Gray, there’s only one thing worse than having to ask the appalling Parth Sterling to marry her:
Being turned down by him.
Now the richest bachelor in England, Parth is not about to marry a woman as reckless and fashion-obsessed as Lavinia; he’s chosen a far more suitable bride.
But when he learns of her desperate circumstances, he offers to find her a husband.
Even better, he’ll find her a prince.
As usual, there’s no problem Parth can’t fix. But the more time he spends with the beguiling Lavinia, the more he finds himself wondering…
Why does the woman who’s completely wrong feel so right in his arms? https://eloisajames.com/bookshelf/born.php#order
If you’ve read Eloisa’s books then you’ll he romance in this cute book is as expected: initially conflicted and predictably passionate. The idea that Parth and Lavinia will end up with others is perhaps upheld just a little too long. What is delightful is Lavinia’s burgeoning sense of self and of self-worth. She’s an aristocrat with “the common touch” — considerate without patronizing airs, and willing to work as hard as anyone. Where Parth is concerned then, she would be a brilliant match; just as soon as he stops being an asshat. I think the subplot of Parth matchmaking for Lavinia is a red herring; It really is not that important to the novel.
For a man who owns a lace factory, it seems odd that he would consider Lavinia’s interest in fashion excessive or frivolous. But he quickly realizes she has some good ideas. It is a bit surprising that her talent, good taste, discernment and ability are as well-formed as they are. Her treatment of the serving and merchant classes is impeccable and without the condescension one might expect.
Lavinia has to truly grow up in this novel: she’s penniless, kind of ruined, and her mother has some serious physical and legal issues. She has to deal with circumstances of business for which her education has ill-prepared her. Her abilities and good taste, however, give her a leg-up. Like women everywhere she figures it out and gets it done. I think this is the most important theme in this book. Lavinia’s success is amazing, and entirely surprising to herself. That she has a built-in clientele in the Wilde family is no surprise. As is often the case, it is who you know as much as what you know that helps one achieve success.
Parth is well-off, Half-Indian but legitimate, which Elisa points out was not yet disdained in the 18th century. His attachment to, and acceptance by, the Duke’s family is complete. They consider him one of them but does the rest of society? But, this is a very unusual ducal family whose rank offers them, and those in their sphere, a lot of latitude.
Eloisa has the talent for presenting her characters a little larger than life but, even the aristos are often down-to-earth, decent, and approachable. She writes fun sheet time and the passion between her characters is believable. Furthermore the relationships that we know will work out require attitude adjustments. In this case there is a little too much use of the miscommunication device, but maybe that speaks to the time and the way in which men and women communicated in that period. However, that one person is so easily willing to believe the worst about someone for whom they care is a poor start for a lifelong commitment.
To some degree, the HEA requirement for the genre makes all romance novels predictable. Eloisa’s paths from Alpha to Omega are always inventive and amusing.