Friday, July 30, 2021

Kristi Ann Hunter - Vying for the Viscount

When a strange man appears to be stealing horses at the neighboring estate, Bianca Snowley jumps to their rescue. And when she discovers he's the new owner, she can't help but be intrigued--but romance is unfeasible when he proposes they help secure spouses for each other. Will they see everything they've wanted has been there all along before it's too late?

Comment: I think I've read somewhere the protagonist of this book was somewhat unusual and although I can't remember anymore, that was likely why I added this one to the pile.

In this novel we meet Hudson, viscount Stildon, as he travels from India to England to finally take charge of his estate. The sea journey doesn't agree with him but he hopes all the has imagined his life in England will be might prove it all worth it. The problem is he wasn't counting on the intricacies of the English society and all the unmentioned rules one still should be aware of. Thankfully, he is helped by his neighbor, miss Bianca Snowley, with whom he shares his love of horses and an apparent lack of how to maneuver most conversations. Can it be these two might be friends and with time discover they might suit as more than that as well?

I liked this story enough but I admit I imagined it might be better than what my final opinion ended up being. It just seemed that some elements didn't always match and I felt some confusion here and there...

I'd say the most interesting aspect was how out of place Hudson felt while in India, as if he never belonged and that was why, besides knowing he had responsibilities in England, he decided to travel to England, a place he expected to welcome him and where he would feel right at home. That didn't happen and I felt as confused as he described over some situations. At first, this seemed to be well done, for there were indeed awkward reactions by him regarding things he wasn't certain of and I could see myself having similar attitudes if it was me.

The problem, in my opinion, was how this notion that there was something Hudson should be aware of, at the same time as we, the reader, wasn't actually obvious. It felt as if there was something missing, information we should have had already known and all characters surrounding the main couple knew, mentioned or made references to supposed information and no one would talk clearly and how on earth was it possible for us to know if no one ever said it? After a while, this situation became a little repetitive and, to me, slightly boring as well.

Close to the end, after a very pointless plot choice - why can't people talk if they prize honesty so much? - we finally understand all the more or less hidden allusions/veiled comments and to be fair, it didn't feel such a big deal. Why no one mentioned it to Hudson, I can't understand...

The plot was simple, basically Hudson had to come to terms with his new life, his expectations of how life would be like and that he would need to adjust them to the things he did have, such as a potential wife and a close circle of friends who might not have been there the first day but that he slowly managed to trust and be comfortable with while they were together. I actually liked this aspect of the novel.

Hudson is a refreshing kind of hero for he showed he wasn't in control of everything, he knew there were things he couldn't understand, expectations he couldn't meet and we got to know about them by his thoughts. Bianca is a heroine we can empathize with, especially since she lives with a stepmother who obviously doesn't care for her and I could see her stress in thinking how to cope if she couldn't find someone she would like to be married with, because the other option wasn't pleasant. These two have things in common and this being an inspirational, there is some talk about how they saw God and faith but since this barely matters to me in inspirationals (not why I read them), it wasn't so "loud" to make me take notice, it felt it was natural for these characters and the time they lived in.

I confess I expected more of the romance, though. Not when it comes to obvious love scenes, but their connection as a romantic couple. There are ways for this to be so wonderful , any reader would feel they had to be a couple, and although the words were there, some thoughts they had showed that, I feel there weren't enough scenes with them together to make their being a couple something palpable. I missed some more romance or just more evidently romantic moments.

This was good enough to read, that's true. But I wanted more and although I feel a little curious about other characters, namely the one who will be protagonist on the following book in the series, I'm still debating if I'd want to go though more of this writing...
Grade: 6/10

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