Born to Be Wilde: The Wildes of Lindow Castle Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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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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|Listening Length||9 hours and 53 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||July 31, 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #86,827 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#809 in Regency Romance
#5,108 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#7,501 in Regency Romances
Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2022
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Parth has lived with the Wilde family since he was five years old, his parents lived in India and sent him to England as a ward to the duke. His family died and the Wildes have made him one of their own. Through hard work, Parth has built a fortune and is now one of the richest men in England. He is beyond shocked when Lavinia asks him to marry her, an offer he quickly refuses. Before he can get answers, she apologizes and leaves. Later that day he reveals that he is going to marry and is going to London to woo his bride - a widowed contessa named Elisa. Lavinia feels ill at the news, but it turns out she really is ill, Parth scoops her up and takes her to her room. Over the next few days, he helps care for her and tells her he will help her find a husband.
Lavinia slowly recovers from her illness and learns that Aunt Knowe has sent her mother to a manor to overcome her addiction. Lavinia worries about her mother's theft and the debts, but decides to take charge of Diana's trousseau. Diana, Lady Knowe and Lavinia travel to London and Lavinia is delighted to discover that vendors are willing to pay her a commission for having the future duchess' business. She loves fashion and is in her glory designing and managing Diana's and several members of the Wilde families wardrobes. She is still embarrassed about her proposal to Parth and tries to avoid him. But when she runs into him at a vendors shop with his soon to be betrothed in tow, she is forced to act nonchalant. She is also surprised to learn how much she likes Elisa. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, she slips out for a breath of air and is confronted by Parth - he is upset that she is out in the rain so soon after her illness. He is insulting to her, but not on purpose, he is just incredibly blunt and tactless. Their argument ends when he kisses her.
When another argument leads to another kiss, Parth has changed his mind, he wants Lavinia, not Elisa. Lavinia tries to avoid Parth, especially after Lady Knowe and Diana return to the country and leaving her to tie up things with Diana's trousseau. Lavinia refuses his offer of escort back to the castle. She thinks of him constantly, but like everyone else, thinks he is going to marry Elisa.
She returns to Lindow and throws herself into her work, Parth inserts himself into her life, making sure she rests and eats. They form a friendship and begin to learn more about each other. When things between them turn heated, she agrees to marry him. He is elated, but must return to London. He says he will return with Elisa before the wedding. She misses him and knows she should have told him the truth about her mother, but is consumed with the work that needs to be done for Diana's wedding gown.
When Parth returns, eager to see her, he overhears the end of a conversation between Lavinia and Diana. He is hurt by what he hears and seeks out North instead. When she finally sees him, he is distant and cold. They have a fight and she tells him that she has changed her mind and will not marry him.
She flees the castle and goes to see her mother. Parth follows, he knows he messed up and is frantic to repair the damage. But Lavinia is firm, he doesn't respect her and thinks she is shallow, she cannot marry a man like that. He learns the truth about her mother and bows to Lavina's request and leaves, but this is not over.
He returns with reinforcements and presses his case. She is still set on refusing him, but when her mother disappears, Parth is the person she turns to for help. When thinks take a violent turn, Parth finally gets his chance to prove his feelings to Lavinia, but is it too late?
This was a great story, I will be honest, I was a bit unsure that I would like it once I learned he planned to marry Elisa and thought this might devolve into a angsty love triangle, but instead I was delightfully surprised with how Ms. James handled the situation and even ended up hoping that she finds a match for Elisa! The book has a lot of witty banter, many amusing scenes, a bit of heartache, steamy love scenes and a sigh worthy ending.
This is the third book in the series, but I think it could be read as a standalone with no problem, however, I have read all three books and feel that my reading experience with this book was enriched by reading the books in order.
I personally am big into fashion. I love dresses and hats and shoes and accessories. So Lavinia was MY GIRL! She was me in 1780. I 100% felt her insecurities about being shallow and frivolous because she loves bonnets and gowns. People who don't find value in clothing, except for basic function, don't view people who love clothing with any kind of respect. I always worry about people thinking I'm shallow and foolish. Even when I'm complimented and people ask me for Fashion advice, I still feel insecure. So I not only understood and believed every single feeling Lavinia had, they made me feel validated as well.
Parth was an enjoyable hero, despite his emotional short comings. I think a lot of people, including me, say the wrong thing or don't properly relay how we're feeling. I was really happy to see Parth back up his words with actions after Lavinia couldn't have faith in his words.
I really loved seeing the previous couple have the big grand wedding. In nearly every historical romance I've ever read, the hero finds some way to skip the multi-month wait for an engagement and get married by special license within a few days to a week once the heroine agrees. Big weddings are so common, even today, that it makes more sense to me to that the characters actually have a big wedding.
There are two sex scenes. In both of them, the characters seems to still be partially dressed, mostly Lavinia, and it felt more rushed than her usual sex scenes. It was a little disappointing. There is one use of the f- word.
I thought the aspect of her mother's addiction to laudanum was really interesting and very respectful to people and their family members whom deal with addiction in real life. I didn't know that rehab facilities existed way back then (though it wasn't called that in the book). I was happy to see Lavinia adopt a "I will accept the things I cannot change but still be there for my mother as best I can" kind of mindset in the end.
There really wasn't anything I didn't like about it. My only complaint would have been it was a tad too long. Otherwise, wonderful!
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.