3 November 2014

My Wildest Fantasies by Julianne MacLean

Hey everyone,

This book was first published by Avon a few years back and I’ll be honest I wasn’t even aware of its existence. In fact it was quite a few years later that I randomly stumbled upon the newly released audio version on Audible. After the reading the blurb and listening to the sample (an essential step IMO) I immediately brought In My Wildest Fantasies

The Book:

Julianne MacLean's thrilling Pembroke Palace Series begins when a young and innocent aristocratic lady is rescued from a runaway coach by a heroic stranger on a horse-who appears like a phantom out of the mist in a fog-shrouded forest.

Lady Rebecca Newland cannot forget the captivating nobleman who saved her life, and she sets out to meet him again when she is of an age to be courted. Unbeknownst to her, her timing is impeccable, for Devon Sinclair, the future Duke of Pembroke, has just been informed by his mad father that he must take a wife before Christmas in order to thwart a family curse and preserve his inheritance.

Lady Rebecca is everything Devon could want in a wife - she is beautiful, charming, and she desires him openly. But can a marriage built on fantasy succeed, or will the lovers be forever entangled in the seductive web of their mutual passion for what occurs each night the marriage bed?

My Thoughts:

A historical romance with a strong heroine, a gothic influence is a book I wanted to love and for the first half I did, however, for me it all went down hill after the marriage took place. At the start I loved Rebecca and Devon, the chance meeting in the foggy forest had me hooked. Rebecca seemed intelligent, curious and brave; Devon was strong, heroic and noble. The sparks were instantaneous, only destroyed by Rebecca being seventeen and therefore far too young for Devon.

Now this is a romance book so we all know the story doesn’t end at that moment. Rebecca after four or five years decides that Devon, her hero, will be able to save her once again; this time from an unwanted betrothed. Devon newly returned from America after leaving his family in disgrace his ordered to find a bride. Like before the sparks were immediate, with Devon becoming immediately infatuated with the red-haired woman at his parent’s masquerade ball. They flirt, they dance, and witty banter is exchanged. This leads to kissing and seduction; steamy scenes in darken portrait galleries. I loved it up to this point, Rosalyn Landor’s narration was five stars, Julianne MacLean’s writing was superb, the story was engaging and intriguing.

Then Devon proposed and soon after (one week) the couple is married. At this point it felt like a completely different writer decided to finish the novel. Rebecca and Devon went from being connected, passionate friends and lovers to almost strangers. Devon turned rude, cold and distrustful. Rebecca became to irritate me; she acted stupidly especially concerning the secondary plot involving her old betrothed. Rather than facing problems together they argued amongst each other about petty things. To me it felt like they had a complete breakdown of communication.

I wish In My Wildest Fantasies had had a better second half. Rather than focusing on Devon and Rebecca as a couple the story became completely fixated on the secondary plot. Considering how quickly they got married I felt they needed this time as a couple. Rebecca needed to learn to love Devon the man rather than the hero and yet he was constantly cast into this role. Even in the final scene this is still how Devon viewed himself. I felt disconnected from the characters, especially Devon, he stopped being a real person, a believable character and instead became a stereotype of the noble but tortured hero. I usually love that type of hero but it has to feel real, believable, not like an ill-fitting suit they’ve borrowed for a cousin’s wedding.

This is the start of the Pembroke Palace series and clearly the second novel will be about Vincent, one of Devon’s brothers. I highly doubt I will continue the series in either audio or book format.

My rating:

Happy reading and see you next time!