Review: To Love a Libertine

cover-to love a libertineTitle: To Love a Libertine
Author: Liana LeFey
Series: ?
Genre: Georgian Romance
Length: Novel
Available: May 30th


London, 1727

When Miss Eden Lowther catches the eye of Lord Percival Falloure, Marquess of Tavistoke, she’s delighted, for his wicked lordship is anything but boring. The canny coquette who declined five suitors the season prior sets out to capture the infamous “Terror of the Ton” for keeps, but the man she finds behind the façade isn’t at all what she expects.

Having suffered heartbreak and humiliation two years ago, Lord Tavistoke is wary of love. But once on the market, always on the market until wed or dead. Desperate to throw London’s single ladies off the scent, Percy looks to reestablish his rotten reputation with a rousing scandal. His mark: Miss Eden Lowther, a tearing beauty reported to have left devastation in her wake last Season. If anyone has asked for ruination, it is the heartless “Hellion of Holker Hall”…

Eden and Percy soon find themselves falling dangerously in love, despite their fears and her family’s objections. But will love alone save them when a ruthless rival forces her hand?

Source: ARC from Entangled: Select Historical via NetGalley

I found this an okay historical read about a beautiful, independent miss who is in no rush to marry, and a reformed rake who has grown a conscience and needs to find a way to stave off the marriage-minded hordes. They meet, a connection is formed, yet the path to marriage is far from smooth thanks to an unimpressed mother-in-law and a rather unsuitable suitor.

The main problem for me was that I didn’t particularly like Eden or Percy. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with Percy, but he’s clearly been a side character in another book where a lot more was obviously revealed about him than in this one – such as just how he got into saving prostitutes from London stews. Mostly in this one he mopes about, not really solving a mystery about the disappearance of a girl, plotting to regain his bad boy image, before falling for Eden in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it change of mind. I just found him rather uninspiring. Add in his careless past, fathering illegitimate children here, there and everywhere, and he wasn’t my kind of hero.

Eden was inconsistent. In her very first scene, when she claps eyes on Percy, she thinks about how reformed rakes make the best husbands and how Percy must be a wonderful lover. Which made it really surprising to me when she turned all naive and unsure about sensuality and sex. It just didn’t add up. Also, she didn’t really have any likeable qualities. She’s an all right heroine, but she’s beautiful, kind of spoilt and just didn’t interest me.

The inconsistencies spread to Eden’s family too. If her father had been so wonderful in helping Eden invest her own money and make it grow, how come he then turns out to be so hopeless with money? I also found the conversation between Eden and her step-mother about how Eden wants Percy kind of misleading. For one, Eden is a lot more determined to marry Percy than she shows at pretty much any other point of this novel, and for another her step-mother sort of agrees to allow the courtship – then does everything possible to prevent it from ever happening, and apparently had been making other plans for a while. I was never quite sure which scene to believe. (I kept expecting some dark secret from stepmama’s past to surface, but no, sadly, it’s all rather mundane.)

Also, if you’re not impressed by period homophobia, you might be offended by some of the views expressed in this book. I know it’s all about the time and the fact it was all highly illegal, but still, the idea of an already loveless marriage being “absolute hell” because of the husband’s sexuality was a touch strong. Especially compared to some of the truly hellish practices referred to in this book.

So overall, this book didn’t do much for me. It is readable and sexy in places, but the characters didn’t interest me and the plot was stretched too far by some truly strange twists and additions. Guess it just wasn’t for me.

To Love a Libertine is out May 30th.
Visit Liana LeFey for more details.


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