Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo
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...Vivienne Lorret is a new author to me, but I can assure you she'll be on my radar for good after having such fun reading The Debutante Is Mine! Watching Lilah grow in confidence and character--and falling in love, of course--was nothing short of delightful.
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...
Lilah Appleton is unspectacular. With a mother who only tears her down and an imposing father's will only giving her three Seasons to find a titled husband--or she'll be forced to marry her disgusting cousin--Lilah is running low on time and confidence. A plan to become the Season's Original brings Lilah into unknown territory, but at the same time, she's drawn to Jack Marlowe--wholly unsuitable, wholly attractive.
From the first page, I liked Lilah a lot. At first, she's far from confident, but she's still true to herself. So when the plan to become the Original comes into play, it's worrying that Lilah will be forced to change to find a husband. But she doesn't! Lilah manages to come out of her shell, but she's only becoming a better version of herself. It's clear her friends and family love her because of who she is, and only want to help her--not make her into someone she's not. Far and away, this what what I loved most. Lilah finds she can make a splash in society--and not some falsified version of herself.
Of course, there can't be a great romance without a hero! Jack Marlowe was not the kind of character I expected. He's disillusioned with the aristocracy, and almost seems the surly rake, but he proves very quickly that he's deeply loyal and completely willing to give up anything for the people he cares about. He realizes that falling in love is inconvenient and not what he expected to do, but he never resists it. He always wants Lilah, and never does a thing to hurt her. Needless to say, swoon!
If I had any complaints, it's that things wrap up a little too quickly and neatly. Of course, they're going to have a happy ending, but Jack seems to manage to get over his problems without much difficulty. No brooding, not even a kind of freakout? Obviously, I don't mind my happy ending, but I thought maybe a little more of a struggle for him would've been appropriate.
The Debutante Is Mine is, clearly, a lot of fun. I flew through it and have to get my hands on more from Vivienne Lorret--especially the continuation of this series!
About the author:
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.
“Why can’t you move forward?” His breath skimmed across her nape, teasing the tendrils that must have come loose earlier, when their carriage had hit the rut.
She shivered, closing her eyes. “I know very well that you do not care about my answer. All you are doing is delaying the removal of your hand from my . . .”
She’d said the word a moment ago. So why couldn’t she say it now? Likely, because that part of her body had suddenly become the center of her world. It was now a place of intimacy and forbidden touches.
“Waist?” he supplied, moving his fingertips in such a way that it made her stomach quiver—not on the surface but someplace deeper inside.
“Person,” she corrected, yet noticed her thready word lacked censure. She tried again. “You really should not be touching me here.”
“If I were assisting you into a barouche, I would have both my hands on your . . . person.”
Both of his hands on her? She tried not to imagine it. When she felt an enthralling warmth spread through her, she knew she’d failed. “No. I mean here, in the ballroom. If anyone should see, the result would be catastrophic for both of us.”
Her reputation would be ruined. He would be expected to marry her. They both knew, however, that he would not. His conduct indicated that he cared little for the principles of society. He didn’t even like her. And more important, she reminded herself, she despised him.
“Indeed. The rules that govern your actions must be obeyed.” With those hard-edged words, he dropped his hand and stepped back.
Lilah immediately missed his warmth and hated herself for it. She turned to face him, a reprimand at the ready. “If we didn’t have rules, then society would be full of men like you who enjoy taking liberties.”
He lifted his tawny brows. “You don’t think society would be full of women taking liberties?”
She blinked, caught off guard by the question and by the very idea. Women taking liberties?
Spinning a web to decide her fate . . .
It was an unexpectedly intriguing proposition for a woman in her circumstances. Now, however, was not the time to ponder it. “I will not imagine such a thing. After all, if I were to have placed my hand on your person, then you would have removed it. Men do not wait upon politeness.”
“I wouldn’t have removed your hand . . . from anywhere on my person.” He grinned, making her regret the example she’d used. Then he spread his arms out in invitation. “Please tell me you require proof.”