Fanciful Beatrice Bennington insists she will accept only a lovesick man as her husband, but her neighbor Matthew, a viscount, is convinced that all she will end up with is a bruised heart – unless he can prevent it.
Kate Archer has kicked off a new series of Regency romcoms about the Benningtons, a close knit family with an hopelessly romantic bend, due to the parenting of an eccentric aunt. I’ve always enjoyed Kate Archer’s romances, which generally lean very heavily into comedy, so I was excited to read this, the first book in the series.
I enjoyed the push and pull relationship between the hero and the heroine. Though childhood friends, Beatrice came to see Matthew as more of a silly scold than anything else in recent years, while Matthew always thought of her as a younger person in need of guidance, so it was fun to see these perspectives unravel. Much Ado About Nothing (my favorite Shakespearean play!) is nodded to not only in the leads’ costumes at the masque but in the plot itself, as the bickering pair realize they are in love with each other only when they tricked into seeing each other in a brand new light.
However, I did wonder if the humor got a little too silly sometimes. I think part of this comes down to Beatrice’s character development – while she does become more mature as the story goes on, we never really hit the core of her personality, so she remains a pleasant but not particularly compelling lead. I also found that the younger sisters’ disdain for Matthew began to wear after a while, especially as they never really completely recant it.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.