This book is funny and adorable with a side of aggravation. This review will be short because I never know how to talk about funny books in reviews.
Our main character is Valentine, a young duke who is set and ready to do his duty by marrying the girl he’s been betrothed to since he was a child, a thing both their fathers wished for them. Only the girl, Arabella, has no desire to get married, and she hates Valentine, so she absconds with herself and a friend, and Valentine and Arabella’s twin brother, Bonny (short for Bonaventure) must chase after them, if only to keep Arabella from either being kidnapped by pirates, or becoming a pirate herself. Only along the way Valentine falls in love with the wrong twin.
This was so funny, and I loved the characters, except Arabella. Valentine’s emotional journey was so sweet. So uptight and innocent. Bonny is also very lovable, fitting since he just wants to be loved. Their romp across the English countryside is full of antics and fripperies, and it is altogether a lovely reading experience. If Arabella hadn’t been so monstrously selfish at points, I would have given this five stars. At one point I legitimately thought she might be a sociopath, because she seemed to hate Valentine so much based on almost nothing, and because she seemed to care so little for the consequences of her actions, and whether they actually ruined someone’s life, or got them killed. Quite the skill to make someone so unlikable that even their main arc of running away to avoid an arranged marriage becomes unsympathetic. I can’t decide if Hall knows how unlikeable she is.
I do very much recommend this one, though. And very much looking forward to the sequel, which will follow Peggy, the genderfluid friend that Arabella absconds with.