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Born to Be Wilde: The Wildes of Lindow Castle Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2018
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The richest bachelor in England plays matchmaker…for an heiress he wants for himself!
For beautiful, witty Lavinia Gray, there’s only one thing worse than having to ask the appalling Parth Sterling to marry her: being turned down by him.
Now the richest bachelor in England, Parth is not about to marry a woman as reckless and fashion-obsessed as Lavinia; he’s chosen a far more suitable bride.
But when he learns of Lavinia's desperate circumstances, he offers to find her a husband. Even better, he’ll find her a prince.
As usual, there’s no problem Parth can’t fix. But the more time he spends with the beguiling Lavinia, the more he finds himself wondering…
Why does the woman who’s completely wrong feel so right in his arms?
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“Eloisa James’ new series, The Wildes of Lindow Castle, is addictive... Eloisa James spins yet another entertaining romance with intelligent protagonists and a wonderful supporting cast.” — Historical Novel Society
“Eloisa James crafts such a beautiful tale of two people in need of some good ole’ fashioned love, trust, and off the charts chemistry...If you’re a fan of Lisa Kleypas’s Wallflower series, then James’s books about the Wilde family are perfect for you!” — San Francisco Book Review
From the Back Cover
The richest bachelor in England plays matchmaker . . .for a heiress he wants for himself!
For beautiful, witty Lavinia Gray, there’s only one thing worse than having to ask the appalling Parth Sterling to marry her: Being turned down by him.
Now the richest bachelor in England, Parth is not about to marry a woman as reckless and fashion-obsessed as Lavinia; he’s chosen a far more suitable bride. But when he learns of Lavinia’s desperate circumstances, he offers to find her a husband. Even better, he’ll find her a prince.
As usual, there’s no problem Parth can’t fix. But the more time he spends with the beguiling Lavinia, the more he finds himself wondering . . . Why does the woman who’s completely wrong feel so right in his arms?
- Publisher : Avon; Reprint edition (July 31, 2018)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 006269247X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062692474
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.19 x 0.96 x 6.62 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #253,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2022
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Well, I'm trying. Trying to finish it. No, that's not true. I did finish but by skimming towards the halfway point and speed-reading the last third. And I've decided that instead of being sold at a bargain price, this should be free. Or better yet, James should pay us all to read it. It is just that bad. And I thought the first two were mediocre.
What on earth has happened to the author who supplied us with some very clever Desperate Duchesses books? She's MIA, to be sure. This Wildes series is a huge dumbing down of a literate author. Nothing clever. Nothing unexpected. Boring dialogue. Cliched characters. James isn't even trying anymore, now that she has a following of fans who'll buy her books just because she wrote them. Case in point: Look at me. I bought this. I read it (well, sorta). All because of my fond memories of her books from the early 2000s. Her Duke of Villiers was an excellent creation, as was the romance of Jemma and Elijah, the Duke and Duchess of Beaumont.
Now it's all dross and drivel. This BORN TO BE WILDE pairs Parth Sterling, orphaned son of a British father and Indian mother, raised by the Wilde family, and now "the richest man in England," with Lavinia Gray, friend of Willa and Diana, the heroines of the first two books of this series. That's basically what Lavinia brings to the table here. She's a friend. She's also pretty. She has also been a bit frivolous. And she has always been insulting to Parth, who tended to ignore her.
Now she's in a bind financially Her mother is a bit of a thief and a laudanum addict. Lavinia needs money to keep her mom out of Newgate. What to do? Marry money, of course. Diana suggests Parth. Lavinia proposes to him. He, naturally, does not accept, but does offer to find her a husband
.And so it goes. Blah, blah, blah. On and on and on. They discover love for each other but we need misunderstandings here to keep the darned book from being a short story. A shame. Maybe I could have liked this a bit more as a short story.
There's an OW. There is a huge amount of boring stuff about fashion and material and clothing. Lavinia becomes a budding businesswoman/fashion consultant, so she can become financially solvent without the need for a husband. Oh, Deadly Boredom and Holey Anachronisms, Batman!
I hope I'm the only person left who had not read this already. If not and there is still one person out there who is unsure if she wants to read it, I will feel I've done my small part for humanity if I've discouraged her with this review.
THE STORY: Lavinia Gray is desperate after discovering that her mother is an addict, spent all their money and stolen from family and friends. She needs to marry immediately before the scandal is discovered so she approaches Parth Sterling to propose marry. But he turns her down. The fashion obsessed and shallow Lavinia is not the type of woman Parth intends to marry and, in fact, he has a much more suitable candidate in mind. Parth, however, promises Lavinia to help her find a groom. Parth's efforts only seem to make Lavinia more attractive to him as he discovers the real woman that he dismissed so easily.
OPINION: I ended up loving this book. It took a while to grow on me because Lavinia and Parth seemed so mismatched in the beginning. But as the two really began to know one another and as the book concentrated on the emotional lives of these characters, I began to fall with them as they fell for one another.
For a book that feels light and funny, this book has a a deep undertone -- like Lavinia herself. I enjoyed that the book begins with Lavinia at her most desperate and then becomes how Lavinia finds a way to save herself. As she does, she shows Parth who she really is and Parth begins to fall for her.
The romance between Parth and Lavinia takes the time it needs to develop. It allows for the emotional depth of the characters and the relationship to be emphasized. I loved that the book really rests on these two characters and their relationship rather than all the external story.
One of the characteristics of the series has been that the hero really has to take the leap into the fire for the heroine emotionally. The Wilde men are emotional and passionate when they recognize the woman for them. I love that about them and Parth shows that he is a true Wilde even if he wasn't born with the name.
WORTH MENTIONING: I loved, loved, loved being able to see more of North and Diana and there are some beautiful moments with them. This is a must read book for fans of these two.
CONNECTED BOOKS: BORN TO BE WILDE is the third book in the Wildes of Lindow Castle series. The romance in this book is self-contained and can be read as a standalone. I think, however, that the characters in this book are better understood when the series is read in order.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
I admit I didn't like Lavinia and Parth in the previous books. They were childish and just irritating so I wasn't looking forward to this book and expected to be annoyed. Instead, Lavinia has grown up finally, pushed partly by the impact of her laudanum-addicted mother and her thievery and partly because she finally becomes comfortable in her own skin.
I liked that Parth quickly abandoned his plans once he finally admits his attraction to Lavinia. I hate when a hero stubbornly sticks to his original plan just to keep the conflict going, but here there were enough other issues that it wasn't necessary for him to adhere to his original plan and he could adapt once he realized he might have a chance with Lavinia.
It's fun to see the other Wildes and the culmination of North and Diana's romance. I'm looking forward to the next book if it's about who I think it is. They look to be a fiery match.
Top reviews from other countries
Parth has made his fortune, several times over, and is about to propose marriage to an Italian contessa. So when the beautiful but 'shallow' heiress Lavinia Gray asks him to marry her he turns her down flat, suspecting her motives. But perhaps things aren't all what they seem?
I think this is my favourite of the series so far. I loved Lavinia and the way she decides to turn her fortunes around by playing to her strengths - fashion - and not taking the easy way out: a wealthy husband, despite Parth's best efforts at trying to hook her up with a prince! The story is mostly told from her point of view and I would have liked a bit more from Parth, who I found a fascinating, if shadowy character. I'd have also liked a bit more of a hint about what he looked like from the start, as I'd somehow got it into my head he was red-haired - probably because of the heroine's comments that (with his beard) he was trying to look like Henry VIII!
I particularly liked the way laudanum addiction was handled - a nice change from those stories I've read where the characters seem to knock it back with no ill effect! And of course I loved all the lush descriptions of Georgian fashion!
Recommended for those who love the lighter, romantic comedy style of historical romance, and fans of authors such as Julia Quinn. And if you subscribe to Eloisa's newsletter, there is an opportunity to read a prequel novella, featuring Parth's adoptive father, the Duke of Lindow.
I really hope there will be another book in the series featuring a return of the brother thought to be dead. I am intrigued by him and his story, how he will fit in with the rest of the family all grown up and with children.