Review: Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, Book 2) by Sherry Thomas

by Keira on July 13, 2014 · 1 comment

in 2 Stars, Arranged/Forced Marriage, Book Review, Dukes and Earls, Friends, Great Britain, Heiress, Love Triangle, Marriage of Convenience, May/December, Regency, S-U, Virgin Heroine

ravishing an heiressHero: Fitzhugh is an impoverished Earl, who recently inherited his earldom. If he doesn’t wed for money he and his family will be doomed to live in poverty forever. The idea of a loveless marriage does not appeal to him in the slightest as he is in love with a beautiful woman… but he can’t provide her with the life she deserves and she isn’t as wealthy as he needs. So, for the love of duty and England, he will marry Millie instead.

Heroine: Millicent (Millie) is a sardine-canning heiress. She’s not gentry, she’s not beautiful… and she isn’t Isabelle. She agrees to marry Fitz knowing that he doesn’t love her. She proposes that they abstain from consummating the marriage for a few years and then get together long enough for them to beget an heir. Fitz thinks that is a great idea because he can’t imagine wanting to sleep with his wife and proposes an extension of the abstinence plan.

So, of course, the beautiful Isabelle returns freshly widowed and ready to start an illicit affair with Fitz just when the married couple plans to consummate the marriage.

Review: My big issue with this book is the flaunting of adultery as the hero cheats and screws his way around London. He’s even willing to abandon his wife publically for a calculating harpy, just because his younger self thought he was in love with the woman. Ugh. I did however, like Millie, even if she took the role of doormat. I got her as a character. She loved Fitz at first site, is a young teenage girl, and believes she’s causing him more harm than good by being married to him. Sure it is a bit delusional, seeing as she’s bringing way more to the marriage with successful businesses and wealth while he’s only bringing a title and some land… but… that’s Millie. The hero has very few redeemable qualities and uses his broken heart as an excuse to behave awfully. What I didn’t understand was why Isabelle wasn’t given the cut-direct several times over? She’s clearly not “high society” even if she married well because she relentless pursues a scandal broth that would consume her, Fitz, and her children. In short, if Millie got a very determined admirer who honestly made her feel special and gave her the idea to run away from her loveless marriage, I might have enjoyed the story better.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Ravishing the Heiress

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1 Jamie Beck July 13, 2014 at 5:58 AM

I can’t argue with the points you make, but I must say, despite them, this was a really good read for me. I’m a big sucker for unrequited love stories, and Millie’s emotions throughout the story brought me near tears a few times. I didn’t see her as a doormat. I saw her as someone who understood what she was up against, had compassion for his heartbreak, and hoped, by being his friend, she could win his love. Sherry Thomas did an excellent job of evoking that hopeless, tortured feeling of loving someone who doesn’t love you back. Unlike many romance novels that use this trope, in this one, we REALLY felt it.

Was Fitz worthy of Millie’s love and patience? Probably not. But many of us love people who might not be the most deserving. And, after their “honeymoon”…he was a decent husband/friend (within the confines of their “agreement”) to her. He liked and admired her very much, although he pined for his lost love for too long.

I disliked this hero throughout much of the story because of his attachment to Isabel, yet still rooted for Millie to get her happy ending. It wrapped up a little too quickly/neatly, but for most of the book, I was engaged (and enjoyed the flashback scenes a lot).

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