Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Review: Chasing Lady Amelia by Maya Rodale

CHASING LADY AMELIA
by Maya Rodale
Series: Keeping Up With the Cavendishes
Genres: Historical
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 28th 2016
Source: ARC received for review
Rating: ★★1/2
Amazon - Barnes & Noble
In the second novel of Maya Rodale’s enchanting Keeping Up with the Cavendishes series, an American heiress finds her reputation—and heart—in danger when she travels to London and meets a wickedly tempting rake

Terribly Improper
Lady Amelia is fed up with being a proper lady and wishes to explore London, so one night she escapes . . . and finds herself in the company of one Alistair Finlay-Jones. He’s been ordered by his uncle to wed one of the American girls. How lucky, then, that one of them stumbles right into his arms!

Totally Scandalous
Alistair and Amelia have one perfect day to explore London, from Astley’s Amphitheater to Vauxhall Gardens. Inevitably they end up falling in love and making love. If anyone finds out, she will be ruined, but he will win everything he’s ever wanted.

Very Romantic
When Amelia finds out Alistair has been ordered to marry her, he must woo her and win back the angry American girl. But with the threat of scandals, plural, looming . . . will he ever catch up to the woman he loves?

I read Lady Bridget's Diary, the first book in this series and a loose P&P retelling, and was very charmed by Maya Rodale's characters and writing. As much as I adored Bridget, I was more intrigued by the wild and rebellious sister, Amelia, so I was thrilled to dive into Chasing Lady Amelia. Unfortunately, this book was off for me and I ended up not liking it as much as I expected to.

As an American who grew up around horses and basically no rules, Amelia is struggling to fit into English society and she feels like she needs one chance to go wild and do her own thing. She leaves her house one night drunk on laudanum, and stumbles upon Alistair, who takes her back to his own place because he doesn't want to leave a drunk girl on the streets. What ensues is a day spent between Amelia and Alistair as they go around London, and by the end of the day, they've fallen in love. I liked that Amelia was so different from your typical historical romance heroine with her wildness, independence and ferociousness. At the same time though, she frustrated me in this book because she deliberately chose not to send words to her family, who were worried sick about her well-being. Still though, I liked that she went after what she wanted and wasn't afraid to be different.

I liked Alistair a lot though, maybe even better than Amelia. He's been on quite the adventure and has only now returned home to England because of a summon from his uncle. He was a genuinely sweet guy who has been tormented by an accident in his past that cost the life of his best friend. I felt for the guy, but I did wish his emotions and feelings when it came to his past were explored more - it came across as quite flimsy to me. I was a little wary when he set out on a path to seduce Amelia into marriage because he was being forced by his uncle, but he dealt with it with care and I liked watching him fall hopelessly for her.

But here's the thing though, the romance was so so rushed. Amelia and Alistair fall in love after that one day they spend together. Listen, I'm sure insta-love exists in some cases in real life, but I just don't like reading about it in my books. It's right up there with love triangles for me. It pains me because they had so much chemistry and banter together and had the romance been over a couple of weeks or more, I would have loved this book. Also, the one and only sexy times scene was kind of a disappointment. I wanted so much more! What I did like were the family dynamics in this book. Amelia and her siblings shared a great relationship, and I loved the scenes between them teasing each other.

Overall, Chasing Lady Amelia was a bit of a let-down for me and wasn't the book for me. I'm really hoping the next book will be stronger.

Do rushed romances take away from your enjoyment of a book?
Let me know in the comments below!