First Lines: Miss Chloe Wynchester burst through the door of her family’s sprawling residence in semi-fashionable Islington, closely followed by her sister Thomasina. Chloe’s pulse raced with excitement. His Arrogance, the Duke of Frosty Disapproval, didn’t have a chance.
I had a stretch here where I was really into romance novels early this summer. (I thought at the time it would be a good distraction from only being able to see my boyfriend on weekends…it was not. They made me miss him more.) This one caught my eye because it looked cute and funny, a combo I really enjoy. Especially if it starts to dip into the realm of absurd.
Chloe Wynchester is forgettable. That’s not a dramatic statement–truly, people forget her days or even hours after meeting her casually. As awful as it can be, it does allow her to blend into any crowd she chooses. When her adoptive father’s dying wish is for the family to recover a stolen painting that’s special to them all, the family turns to Chloe. What no one planned for was Chloe accidentally abducting a Duke in the process. Lawrence Gosling, Duke of Faircliffe, cannot rectify the many mistakes of his father. The estate’s in ruins, the money is gone, and Lawrence can’t fix any of it unless he marries a wealthy peer. Love is not in the cards. Yet when he finds himself being driven down the road at high speeds in an apparent abduction by a beautiful young woman, he fears his plans may have gone to rot…and that his heart may not belong to him anymore.
This was really cute. I wasn’t totally sure what I was expecting from this, but I liked Chloe’s brashness and the eccentricities of the story’s characters and events.
Chloe’s family is made up of a bunch of orphans who were taken in by a Baron they call “Bean” as children. He raised them to feel like a family and if there’s one thing that they all rally behind now that Bean is gone, it’s this painting they got soon after they became a family. But when they discover that the painting is missing and that the Duke of Faircliffe has it, well, game on. They’re going to get it back. And Chloe, who’s used to being invisible to people, is the perfect person to try to get it back. Unfortunately, she’s suddenly no longer invisible to Faircliffe once she accidently abducts him when he entered her getaway carriage…
I thought Chloe and Lawrence were a good couple. Both of them have interesting faults that make them both more loveable and more fascinating. For example, Chloe’s invisibility has to do with her being plain and really laying into that with her wardrobe choices as well. But she actually really hates this invisibility and the way she feels forgettable to everyone she meets. It was an interesting character dynamic that I appreciated.
The love story is excellent as well, the way it unfolds. From the very beginning, Lawrence is a mark to her, and he views her as nothing more than one of those “Wild Wynchesters.” But as they get to know each other and spend more time with each other, everything feels incredibly natural. I liked that.