Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Debutante's Dilemma by Elyse Mady

One woman in search of passion

Miss Cecilia Hastings has achieved what every young lady hopes for during her first London duplicate! She's caught the eye of not one but two of England's most eligible bachelors. Both Jeremy Battersley, Earl of Henley, and Richard Huxley, Duke of Wexford, are handsome, wealthy and kind, the epitome of proper gentlemen. But Cecilia doesn't want proper, she wants passion. So she issues a challenge to her suitors: a kiss, so that she may choose between them.

Two men in love with the same woman

Friends since childhood, and compatriots on the battlefields of Spain, Jeremy and Richard have found that falling for the same woman has set them at odds and risks destroying their friendship forever. But a surprising invitation to a late-night garden tryst soon sets them on a course that neither of them could have anticipated. And these gentlemen quickly discover that love can take many forms...

**I requested this title for review from NetGalley**

I hate to knock an authors first title but I just didn't care for The Debutante's Dilemma. I liked the sound of it, especially with it's menage implications, but the execution didn't go over so well.  It could have been the page limitations but I never felt very attached to Cecilia as a character. The reader only gets so much from her point of view and it's unfortunate because what's she going through is actually something I'd usually enjoy - 2 men, questions of love and passion - who doesn't want to know more about that? Instead I'm left feeling cold because the more traditional historical format that Mady has chosen leaves me confused about how they're all going to get their HEA.

I did like the way Mady had Cecilia confront her confusion over the two men, and them finally have sex didn't feel awkward or forced, but again afterward I was left feeling 'eh'. Instead of drawing the picture of a 3-some relationship composed in just the right way was to fool prying eyes, we're left with an obvious answer that just gives me more questions. Both of these men are important heirs to estates - if they both love her but only one is allowed to marry her, are they going to let the other estate die? Does that not matter? Society at this point doesn't really allow titles to be left to obvious bastards or godchildren, so what's going to happen? Both of them profess to love Cecilia so is the left over doesn't seem inclined to marry for society's sake. 

So in the end I've gotta give this one a thumbs down because as much as it's not badly written, the plot itself leaves too many holes for my liking and its brevity doesn't do it any favors either.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs down

Series - None