Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Review: England's Perfect Hero (Lessons in Love #3) - Suzanne Enoch

Lucinda Barrett's best friends ended up married to the men to whom they delivered their "lessons in love." So Lucinda decides to choose someone who definitely needs lessons, but someone who will not complicate her life. And that person is definitely not Robert Carroway.
Robert is nothing if not complicated, and though he is the brother of a viscount, he rarely goes about society, and finds the weather and hat fashions ludicrous subjects for discussion. Robert is attracted to Lucinda's unpretentious ways, her serenity and her kindness. When she chooses someone for her love lessons, Robert offers to help her deliver her lessons, but sets out to convince the woman he has fallen for to take a chance on love...and on him

After having read the first two in the Lessons in Love series, The Rake and London's Perfect Scoundrel, I had very mixed feelings about beginning the final in the trilogy. On the one hand the novel centres around 'Bit' the loveable recluse from The Rake, and on the other I had found the second book mediocre at best. However, I couldn't not read Robert's story now, could I?

Inevitably, the plot is full of political intrigue surrounding the 'Hundred Days War' (Waterloo for the historical layman) which isn't my favourite plot device but is executed fairly well I must admit, although I am beginning to tire a little of the PTSD hero (possibly I've read to many of late, therefore this is not really any fault of Enoch's). Despite this I still felt a little disappointed by the novel. Robert, or Bit, who I did fall for in the first book lost a bit of his charm during his own story, maybe that was because he lost a lot of his mystery, I can't say.

Robert's difficulties in reconnecting to the world after his experiences during the war are dealt with well and his relationship with Lucinda is wonderfully, slowly developed. I was worried how they'd handle the story of Lucinda, the quietest of the three heroines of LIL, and I was glad that she didn't undergo some sort of personality makeover to attract the hero, rather it was her quietness and peaceful nature that makes her the perfect balm for Bit. I must say that Robert may have been my favourite solider/PTSD hero, he is so lovely and sweet, however I think I was spoiled by Hoyt's Sam in To Taste Temptation.

One thing that did bother me about Robert's story was the seeming back tracking that he did. In the first novel he opened up to Georgie over all of his family members, which was a nice touch to add the development of Georgie's relationship and place within the Carroway family. However, in England's Perfect Hero Robert goes against this and decides that the only person he can actually talk to is Lucinda which is perfectly nice and romantic but does go against that which was set up previously. I guess I just liked the fact that Georgie had a specail claim to Bit, which she probably still does, as I think she is my favourite LIL heroine.

It was really nice re-visiting the Carroway family who I did fall for in the first novel, although the 'aunties' who were developed so well previously were only mentioned in passing which was quite disappointing, I felt that they could have at least had a line or two.

One thing that I have to say did bug me even more than previously was the quote that Enoch begins each chapter with. Previously it was an arbitrary Shakespeare quote or Byron quote, in this case it was quotes from Shelley's Frankenstein. Again, while I saw what Enoch was angling at it felt unnecessary and rather like she'd simply googled quotes that matched the mood. I don't think it always worked, but then again they were quite easily ignored. Finally, the ending confrontation is a bit predictable, but nothing terrible in itself, albeit a bit rushed. Again, an epilogue would have really helped round off the story.

I certainly preferred England's Perfect Hero to London's Perfect Scoundrel but The Rake is still the best of the bunch for me with this offering coming in a respectable second place.

I'm guessing a lot of people love Bit, am I wrong is this the best of the triology? Let me know your thoughts.

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