Fenny is in love with her cousin’s fiancé, but he’s barely ever noticed her. Yet when Penela leaves him at the altar, Fenny steps in, tricking him by pretending to be her cousin at the wedding- and Lion is quite unhappy when he finds out, after they are already wed.
This was a pretty crazysauce premise. Fenny has a bad case of coup de foudre and seizes the chance to become Lion’s wife, even though she knows how bad it is to trick him like that. As such, we get a lot of the hero, who is already a bit of an alphahole, being quite awful to the heroine and the heroine taking nearly all of it without much complaint but with a fair amount of backbone. Interesting relationship dynamics galore!
As this book is told only from Fenny’s point of view, we don’t get to see Lion really softening but it’s clear that he is fascinated by her. The writing was also quite lush and lyrical, creating clear scenes on the page.
I really enjoyed the first half of the book, but the story loses steam in the second half as Lion vanishes off the page and his brother takes center stage. I just wanted to shoo Zonar away the whole time! Also the ending was way too abrupt – we get our happily ever after, but it comes a bit out of nowhere and I wished Lion had been more present in the lead up to it. Since he’s off page, we have to speculate what precisely went on in his head while he was gone – and I don’t want to have to do that work for myself!
Overall, this was a decent read let down by a weak second half. The characters’ dynamics might not be for everyone, but I enjoyed them.