Prudence Merridew & Gideon, Lord Carradice
To escape her brutal grandfather, Prudence stages a plan involving a phony engagement--and the man she approaches is so taken with Pru that he willingly joins her game. (amazon)
I honestly don’t know what happened with this read. It started out great and to my dismay, rapidly lost fizzle. It came to the point where it almost became a DNF (did-not-finish). That’s shocking!
So, Prudence's grandfather happens to be a controlling and very-abusive asshole. When Pru realizes that her grandfather won't let her and her three younger sisters have freedom (or anything that resembles a life), she plots her way out of his clutches, but only so that her sisters have an opportunity to "marry rich." That way, they would be able to be financially independent from their life-sucking old grandfather.
Pru and her sisters run away to their uncle (great-uncle), who has had a fall-out with Pru's grandfather. She lies, saying that the grandfather let them out of the house (*snort*) and tells him that they are in London to search for a husband.
However, the uncle refuses to let Pru's younger sisters marry without Pru marrying first. This is a problem since Pru is quite plain, while her sisters are very beautiful. At the end of her wits, she pretends to be engaged to a *Duke* - one whom her uncle is insistent on meeting. And thus starts this amusing (but disappointing) story.
I loved that Prudence didn’t mope about her situation and took some daring actions to save herself and her sisters from her grandfather’s abuse. They run away to their great-uncle’s home. There, Prudence breaks multiple rules by forging her grandfather’s signature, lies to her great-uncle, pretends to be engaged to a duke, and play-acts in front of her great-uncle to get him to believe her.
The scene is hilarious and I laughed hilariously when she finds out in front of her uncle that her pretend “fiancé,” a Duke, turns out to be a famous rake, Gideon or Lord Carradice. Trying to cover up her blunder, she and Gideon, act as if they’re breaking off the engagement in front of her uncle. However, Gideon, wildly amused at the woman who shows up at his cousin’s doorstep pretending to be the Duke’s fiancée, goes along with Prudence’s scheme…until the real Duke shows up. (Oh brother!)
Thus, Prudence and Gideon are acquainted with each other and inextricably get tangled in each other’s business. When Prudence’s grandfather finds out of their ploy before one of the sisters are able to get married, they decide to run. Gideon comes in and gallantly offers his help (aw!).
They run to Gideon’s aunt’s home, where Prudence meets her fiancé from four years ago. Drama starts when Prudence realizes she’s been played…
This starting gripped me until page 200, and promptly after, I lost interest. The story just began to…stink, and I’m really not sure why. The plot grew a bit dry and the story seemed to take forever for anything to happen. It was the same ‘ol same ‘ol – Prudence tries to resist Gideon because she is waiting for her fiancé, Gideon is attracted to Prudence despite her claim that she’s “homely” – and in comparison to her sisters, she is. He kisses her. She responds. She feels guilty. She pushes him off. Walks away. Two hours later, same thing happens.
…Gideon had the patience of a damned saint, continually chasing after Prudence.
However, I loved how he thought Prudence was gorgeous, even though everyone didn’t see what he saw in her. It was absolutely sweet.
Everything else? Not so sweet… the hilarious and intriguing beginning keeps this book from being a complete bust.