When Sinclair Darling, the Earl of Chilton, is suddenly tricked into marrying, he’s beyond furious, even though the girl is known as the Incomparable Queen of the ton because of her beauty. Taken aback by his new wife’s spoiled behavior and seeming coldhearted selfishness, Sin desperately tries to hide that he’s not the unwilling husband she thinks him to be — he has admired her from afar for years.
In the eyes of polite society, Lady Charmaine de Vere has it all — beauty, wit, and now marriage to the heir of one of the wealthiest dukedoms in England. But behind the shiny exterior a dark secret lurks, a secret she would do anything to save her sister from – even sacrifice her one chance for marital bliss.
Publisher and Release Date: Wild Rose Press, February 2015
Time and setting: England, 1814
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 3 Stars
Review by Vikki
I had read Never Had a Dream Come True by this author last year, and while I had a few issues with it, I enjoyed it sufficiently to want to review this book. Unfortunately, I had even more problems with this one, and in fact, I struggled to finish The Beauty of You because there are so many inconsistencies with the story and the characters.
Lady Chairmaine de Vere has trapped Sinclair Darling, the Earl of Chilton into marriage. He is not happy about it even though he has loved Chairmaine from afar ever since she made her entrance into society.
Chairmaine is not in love with Sin, but she needs the safety of his powerful family. She has presented a reserved, almost cold appearance for years and attracted dozens of suitors, but only one ever captured her heart. Unfortunately, her stepfather denied his suit and the lord married another.
Can two people determined to remain distant from each other find common ground on which to build a loving marriage, or will Chairmaine’s veneer of indifference keep them apart, forever locking them into a marriage far from heavenly?
The beginning of this story is promising and grabbed my attention because I just had to know what Chairmaine’s deep, dark secret was. However, the story has so many plot-holes that I found it very hard to read. I did enjoy some of the banter between the Darling family, although at times, the dialogue is entirely too modern and inappropriate for a Regency period piece.
I also struggled with the characterization. I never fully warmed up to either protagonist. Many times their reactions to events are very much out of character, and make no sense. For example, Sin finds Chairmaine having a conversation with the suitor from her past, a man she had thought she loved. Some of the statements she makes in front of her husband should have had him furious, but instead he laughs them off. This entire part of the story made no sense at all to me, and I scratched my head in disbelief. In fact, I had several such moments as I continued reading.
At times, it’s difficult to know who is speaking and characters would suddenly appear, characters that had no introduction at all. The story also jumped from scene to scene quite abruptly. One minute they are visiting Sin’s sisters, who live days away, and in the next chapter, they are back in Berkshire with no comment on the change of venue. I found myself having to backtrack to make sense of what was happening.
Nonetheless, there are elements of The Beauty of You that are quite enjoyable, and I did enjoy reading about the characters who had appeared in the previous book, especially Uncle Rake. And on a positive note, the story does have a very nicely written ending that neatly ties up and dangling plot points.