I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Debutante Is Mine by Vivienne Lorret
Series: Season's Original #1
Published by Avon Impulse on April 12, 2016
Genres: Fiction, General, Historical, Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound
ADD TO GOODREADS:
USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret launches a new historical romance series featuring the Season’s Original—a coveted title awarded by the ton’s elite to one lucky debutante...
From the Season Standard: ”A true Season’s Original embodies the class, grace, and style of the ton. Such an honor ensures the recipient their pick of eligible suitors…
“ Lilah’s Appleton’s prospects are looking dim. With one last chance to find a titled husband before she’s forced to wed her wretched cousin, she must make this Season count. Plain, forgettable Lilah must become the Season’s Original. Desperate, she seeks help from the devilishly charming, untitled, and thoroughly unsuitable Jack Marlowe. All she must do now is resist the tempting rogue…
Bastard son and self-made man, Jack Marlowe loathes the aristocracy. When he meets Lilah, he expects her to be like all the other greedy husband-hunters. But she’s far more dangerous. Her alluring smiles and sharp tongue intrigue him. Before he knows it, he agrees to help her find a husband, revealing tricks to ensnare any man. The only problem is, his plan works too well—on him.
When Lilah becomes the belle of the ball, Jack realizes he may lose her forever-unless he can take a chance on love and claim his debutante...
Also by this author: All I Want for Christmas Is a Duke
Enter the Giveaway hosted on Rafflecopter and oinked below. Three winners will receive a digital copy of the Holiday Anthology, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A DUKE, featuring the Season’s Original Novella, THE DUKE’S CHRISTMAS WISH by Vivienne Lorret.nger
The lovely, but regrettably forgettable, Miss Lilah Appleton of Vivienne Lorret’s latest novel, The Debutante is Mine, must find a titled husband before the end of the social Season or be forced, under the terms of the codicil to her father’s will, to marry her odious cousin. Lilah’s expectations for marriage are rather low: she does not require love or happiness, someone to hold a pleasant conversation with whom would not shout and demand perfection. After years of psychological abuse from her parents, Lilah has trained herself to be meek and “perfect” in society. Now, in order to catch a decent husband, Lilah must break out of her shell and gain Society’s approval by earning the moniker of Season’s Original.
Enter Jack Marlowe.
Jack is a brilliant self-made man, whose wealth and intelligence are only matched by his disdain for the aristocracy. Although he counts several noblemen as close friends (including the Duke of Vale), he has no regard for Society’s inane rules. As the bastard son of the Earl of Dovermere, Jack is used to being a curiosity and avoiding events his father might be attending.
From the moment Vale warned Jack off of pursuing Lilah in The Duke’s Christmas Wish (as also recalled in this novel), I knew we were in for some fun!
“You have me intrigued.”
“No, Marlowe, I absolutely forbid you to be intrigued.”
Forbid him? Oh, but there was nothing more decadent than forbidden fruit.
Fulfilling Vale’s request to simply send Lilah flowers, Jack soon finds himself campaigning Lilah’s cause. The fact the aristocracy has so long ignored the beautiful and passionate Miss Appleton only serves as further proof of the nobility’s idiocy in Jack’s eyes.
Jack is treated to a rare and wonderous display: Lilah being her true self. With Jack, she no longer feels crippled by the need to be perfect, the constant worries that plague her are forgotten. Lilah finds strength in Jack’s support. Jack finds a kindred spirit in Lilah. And I found myself racing through this book to see how these two could find a happy ending!
Marrying someone without the societal clout and power to challenge her father’s codicil would mean ruin for Lilah and estrangement from her family. Although to be honest, she’d be better off without her shrew of a mother in her life. Jack wants Lilah’s happiness above all things but what is he willing to sacrifice to ensure it?
The wager between Lilah’s cousin Juliet, Lady Granworth and the deliciously broody Max Harwick, Marquess of Thayne makes for a fun subplot and I look forward to more of their bantering and scheming (and hopefully a full resolution of their obvious sexual tension).
The joy Lilah and Jack find in one another, and the heartache of their circumstances, are masterfully handled by author Vivienne Lorret as she deftly balances humor, sensuality, and emotion. The witty dialogue and passionate interludes counter the pain and frustration in equal measure, making The Debutante is Mine a definite delight.
An Excerpt from The Debutante is Mine
Once in her favorite spot beneath the arbor, she drew in a deep breath and released it slowly. The air was chilly, but there was no breeze to make her too cold without a shawl. Overhead, clematis and rose vines were still brown and dormant. On the ground beside the stone path at her feet, a myriad of crocuses bloomed gaily, while tulip shoots were coming into their full height, hinting at their splendor. And halfway up, between the white arbor post and the slatted wooden bench, a spider’s web fanned out, its occupant hidden from view.
She was just leaning closer to study it when she heard the door open and close with a quiet click. Assuming it was Myrtle on an errand for Aunt Zinnia, Lilah didn’t bother to turn. “You may tell my aunt that I will return shortly. I have need of a breath of air.”
“Do you breathe better when you’re bent at the waist?” a man’s deep voice asked.
Startled, Lilah jerked upright, whipping around to face the stranger.
Only he wasn’t quite a stranger. She’d seen him before. In fact, not more than an hour ago. And he looked just as out of place in this manicured garden as his Destrier had trotting along the London streets. She imagined, however, that man and beast would look perfectly at home galloping across an untamed moor or into battle. The man had a feral, warrior look about him. Especially with the golden, hot-ember color of his eyes beneath the arch of a tawny brow. And instead of walking with perfect pedestrian form, he prowled toward her—agile but controlled, as if always prepared for battle.
Beneath a gray tailored coat, his broad shoulders subtly rolled and shifted. The black buttons of his striped waistcoat were in a flat, straight line, suggesting a firmness, about which she likely shouldn’t ponder. The same way she should not admire the storm-cloud gray shade of his riding breeches and the way they encased his thighs, displaying every gradation of his impressive musculature.
When her gaze dipped, she also took note of the large bouquet of pink and white primroses he carried, hanging carelessly by his side. The flowers were enough to remind her of why she was out in the garden. A fresh wave of disappointment hit her.
“I believe,” she said, but when her words came out in nothing more than a whisper, she cleared her throat and began again. “I believe you’ll find my cousin in the parlor.”
He stopped just beneath the arbor, not two steps from her. As they had earlier, his lips curled into a smirk at one corner of his mouth. This time, there was no mistaking the direction of his gaze. He was, most assuredly, looking at her. “When I asked where I would find Miss Lilah Appleton, a rather frantic maid pointed in this direction. Was she mistaken?”
Lilah’s breath caught in her throat. His voice was that of a warrior’s too—sure and commanding but with an underlying edge. Do not cross me, that tone warned as much as it promised. I will fight to the death for you. She could easily hear him saying those words on a battlefield . . . or in a ballroom. Of course, his attire would be different for each occasion . . .
About Author Vivienne Lorret
USA Today bestselling author, VIVIENNE LORRET loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke’s Christmas Wish, and the Season’s Original Series.