Book Review: Confessions from an Arranged Marriage (The Burgundy Club #4) by Miranda Neville

Confessions from an Arranged Marriage
Confessions from an Arranged Marriage by Miranda Neville

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:   They couldn't be more different—but there's one thing they agree on...

In London after a two-year exile, Lord Blakeney plans to cut a swathe through the bedchambers of the demimonde. Marriage is not on his agenda, especially to an annoying chit like Minerva Montrose, with her superior attitude and a tendency to get into trouble. And certainly the last man Minerva wants is Blake, a careless wastrel without a thought in his handsome head.

The heat and noise of her debutante ball give Minerva a migraine. Surely a moment's rest could do no harm . . . until Blake mistakes her for another lady, leaving Minerva's guests to catch them in a very compromising position. To her horror, the scandal will force them to do the unthinkable: marry. Their mutual loathing blazes into unexpected passion but Blake remains distant, desperate to hide a shameful secret. Minerva's never been a woman to take things lying down, and she'll let nothing stop her from winning his trust . . . and his heart.

This is the first book I've read by Miranda Neville & I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't usually read series out of order but I saw this recommended to me on Amazon & bought it straight away, not realizing it was the fifth in a series. It's no matter though, the story of Minnie/Blake stands very well on its own.

Minnie is a woman who pines for political power & influence & Blake is born into the very thing but wants nothing to do with any of it. She's a voracious & opinionated reader & he's of the sporty end & prefers to be with his horses. A funny if not cliched turn (her epic migraines are never mentioned again in this book) causes their paths to cross in such a way that marriage is the only choice to avert scandal & that's where the story really takes off. It's quite clear early on that Blake isn't the slacker Minnie (& most others) regards him as. He has a secret that he's been keeping for years & will go to most any length to continue to keep.

It was very easy to feel for Blake as the story unfolded & while I wanted him to fess up to Minnie, I could understand why he was so reticent. Huntley, our resident extortionist, was reason enough to make anyone wary of divulging a secret ever again in life. For Minnie's part, she was very informed & smart in a good many ways but she was just as stunted when it came to reading people or having any clue about why Blake was the way he was. I suppose that could make Minnie seem inconsiderate & put some readers off, but I liked it because it was clear that she too was flawed. It was as though she couldn't conceive of people relating to the world of books & reading in any other way than she did, so watching her grow over the course of the story was interesting. I did feel badly for both of them often as they stumbled along in the story. Also, I was worried when Blake became Hampton because I kept thinking that as he was relying on his secretaries (or anyone other than Amanda) to give him summaries of all things before he signed all things political, he could be signing anything (much like the IOU Huntley had him sign before). His vulnerability made me anxious & I wanted someone, anyone, to tell Minnie before something drastic happened! In the end, that wasn't the drastic event I needed to worry myself over but the one that presented itself was handled well, even if it was a bit predictable.

The romance between Minnie/Blake was very well done & believable & not overwrought & sappy. I appreciated that. It was nice to watch them evolve as people & as a couple & I cheered for them. Their having genuine affection for one another was sweet but I most enjoyed that they had mutual respect & felt protective & supportive of each other. I'm a huge historical fiction fan so I was probably a bit predisposed to enjoy this & I would read others in the series.

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