Title: The Debutante Is Mine: The Season's Original Series #1
From the Season Standard: “A true Season’s Original embodies the class, grace, and style of the ton. Such an honor ensures the recipient her pick of eligible suitors…”
Lilah Appleton’s prospects are looking dim. With one last chance to find a titled husband before she’s forced to wed her wretched cousin, she must make this Season count. Plain, forgettable Lilah must become the Season’s Original. Desperate, she seeks help from the devilishly charming, untitled, and thoroughly unsuitable Jack Marlowe. All she must do now is resist the tempting rogue…
Bastard son and self-made man, Jack Marlowe loathes the aristocracy. When he meets Lilah, he expects her to be like all the other greedy husband-hunters. But she’s far more dangerous. Her alluring smiles and sharp tongue intrigue him. Before he knows it, he agrees to help her find a husband, revealing tricks to ensnare any man. The only problem is, his plan works too well—on him.
When Lilah becomes the belle of the ball, Jack realizes he may lose her forever—unless he can take a chance on love and claim his debutante...
Author: Vivienne Lorret
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: The Elusive Lord Everhart, The Debutante Is Mine
Series: The Season's Original Series #1
Published by Avon Source: Publisher
Published: May 2016
Genres: Historical Romace, Regency Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page
This is marketed as a standalone book as the first in a new series, but I suggest you read the novella ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A DUKE, which is where this novel is set up. It’ll also give you insights into what the characters are talking about when they mention the characters Ivy and North.
Lilah Appleton is facing a very difficult situation. Her father’s will has a codicil that states if she doesn’t marry by her third season, she’s to marry her (really sleazy/slimy/greasy) cousin, to whom all the lands are entailed. Lilah, now in that third season, has very little in her favor – but what she does have may prove more powerful than she thinks. Her aunt and her cousin( Juliet, who is a young widow) are determined to find her a suitable husband so that she won’t have to marry the cousin. But these ladies also are going to try to turn her into the season’s Original – a title given to one very special debutante every Season. (No one knows who gives this title, or how it’s determined, but the suspicion is that it’s the senior-ranking matrons of the ton).
Jack Marlowe is a self-made man. He eschews the ton and all its trappings – both physical and mental. He hates word games, he hates the social niceties, and he loathes the aristocracy. But his buddy, the Duke of Vale, gave him a card with Lilah’s name on it around Christmas, and he finally gets around to finding her in March. He’s a character you know you don’t want to like, but do anyway – he’s got a bit of a Regency bad-boy thing, without the rakish, roguish ways so often done. Instead, he’s more of the devil-may-care, I-don’t-need-anyone character – and one Lilah needs to stay away from.
But, of course, she doesn’t, and as she finds herself the object of a nobleman’s attention, she realizes that it’s Jack she wants – but she knows she can’t have him. The rules of her father’s will tie into Jack’s hatred of the often-times ridiculousness of the aristocracy, and he tries to stay away from her, for he does understand the situation she’s in.
I liked this story, but I felt I was missing some things. I didn’t read the first one, so the mention of a mathematical formula to match couples had me scratching my head a little. Additional information about this in particular, as it’s the formula on which the entire novel starts, would’ve been good for a new-to-the-series reader. Also, Juliet had some serious anger/tension with Jack’s best friend Thayne. There’s a backstory there, and a bit more than “she hates him, but not really” would’ve hooked me moreso than being left completely in the dark about those two. I found the ending to be much too perfect – I wish Jack would’ve stuck to his beliefs and used his brain to figure out some loophole in the will instead of what actually happened. It also didn’t address what happened to the cousin, which I found highly unsatisfying. But mostly, the ending felt too sudden, too contrived, too expected, and – frankly – too boring. While this is a great premise and held a lot of promise, it failed to deliver on what I hoped for from a Regency with a hero who could easily be placed in a contemporary.