RIVALS OF FORTUNE - Joanna Rowntree thought she would die of a broken heart when her one true love married another-until not one but two fascinating newcomers appear on neighboring estates. As the roughhewn Jonathan Erland and the polished Sir Rollin Denby engage in a heated competition for her hand, Joanna realizes her heart is alive and well-but to whom will she give it?
THE IMPETUOUS HEIRESS - When spoiled Lady Alicia Alston, privileged daughter of a duke, is accidentally tossed into a ravine after a wild gallop with Ian MacClain, Earl of Cairnyllan, she expects a proposal as soon as is convenient. The stubborn Scot has other ideas. It takes a headlong journey to prevent an elopement to give Alicia and Ian a chance to clear up misunderstandings and figure out what they find so damnably passion-inducing about one another...
Unfortunately this book didn't meet my expectations at all.
The stories were nice, well spun and on the whole well written but the heroines of both books and the hero of the second book made me scream of frustration more than once - literally.
Many heroines in historical romance books are somewhat immature so I don't have a problem with that in genereal but those young women were amazingly naive - or rather achingly naive and the hero was naive and self-righteous to such a degree that I would have loved to kick him over and over again even though I'm not a very violent person. And then, just like that, all is well because it was just a problem of infatuation and negated love clouding their senses - or something along those lines. Well.........
A young woman of 25 who has been circulating the ton for years on her own thinks that an accidental kiss (not her first, just saying!) means an immediate proposal of marriage, a young man takes every action, everything that happens, even decent proposals of marriage, as another proof of the sinful and decadent ways of the ton while completely ignoring that other people have a mind of their own and are able to use it.
At least the heroine in the first book has her young age and her inexperience as an excuse for her actions. Having never left the country yet, Joanne is not used to the ways of the ton, which makes it easy for unscrupulous people to take advantage of her and at least she did mature in the course of the book and chose the right guy even though I never felt her emotions neither for the one nor for the other of the gentlemen. Oh, speaking of Joanne - I was also upset with her former fiancé and couldn't understand the way he behaved. Actually I was always waiting for some explanation why he didn't marry her and I was absolutely shocked by the way he accepted everything his wife did. She may be a formidable woman but that - nope. Inexcusable and absolutely not understandable.
So, somehow this book and I didn't get along and I can't really recommend it.