Top critical review
A book as unoriginal as its title.
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2019
A former Eloisa James fan, I did not plan to read this third romance in James's The Wildes of Lindow Castle series. As a matter of fact, I totally ignored it when it came out in July of 2018 and went about my life with nary a twinge that I might be missing out on something. But since now (May of 2019) it is being offered at a bargain price, I broke down and decided to try it out.
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.