Cover Image: Never Fall For Your Fiancée

Never Fall For Your Fiancée

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Member Reviews

Crazy but brilliant

To appease his matchmaking mother, Hugh invented a fiancée called Minerva but when his mother announced that she would be visiting from America Hugh had to come up with a plan and fast. Enter stage left Minerva Merriwell, a destitute engraver from Clerkenwell who fits the bill perfectly for the fake Minerva! 
I loved Hugh, right from the outset he made me laugh. He has hidden depths and a deep seated fear of repeating his fathers mistakes which makes him flawed and helped him seem more human. He is brilliant at concocting stories and thinks of everything, apart from any emotional attachment he may end up forming!
I wasn’t sure about Minerva to start with but she quickly showed the character she was, a woman with class and poise who is smart and a quick learner, apart from riding which I totally get, she is as uncoordinated as I am! She is fiercely protective over her sisters and everything she does is based around them and their happiness which made her so much more genuine to me, her bond with her family as well as her strength and determination made her a character o quickly adored
It would be remiss of me not to mention the totally brilliant supporting cast of characters (2 of which I’m hoping will get their own story) without whom this book wouldn’t have worked nearly as well and who were a huge part of me being pulled into the story so quickly and totally engrossed
I’m sure you will have noticed by now that I really enjoyed this book, the character are fabulous and even if some of the situations they end up in are slightly ridiculous, the story still flows so well and the reader ends up pulled into the drama unfolding on the page in front of you. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a unconventional romance with amazing characters and a story that will have you hooked from the very first page
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Not what I usually read, but I really enjoyed it. A fake fiance story just set in a different time period. Looking forward to the next book in this series.
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Never Fall For Your Fiancee is a delightful read - I'm forever a sucker for the fake dating / fake fiancee trope and Virginia Heath does the trope complete justice so I was eagerly reading as Hugh and Minerva played out their ruse. I really liked how the relationship between Hugh and Minerva was developed and it had all the hallmarks of a great romance; yearning, unexpected attraction, emotional depth - it was just SO much fun to read. I liked how it all unfolded and if like me you love a good regency romance - don't miss this one!
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Virginia Heath’s Never Fall for Your Fiancée is a side-splitting and rib-tickling Regency caper guaranteed to steal your heart.

Marriage is that very last thing on Hugh Standish’s mind. The Earl of Fareham doesn’t want or need a wife and nobody will persuade him otherwise – not even his matchmaking mama who is absolutely desperate to see her son walk down the aisle! Hugh’s mother would love nothing more than to see her son married and she has tried absolutely everything, but to no avail. Hugh has had enough of his mother’s constant badgering and finally he comes up with the perfect solution to get her off his back for good: a fake fiancée! With his mother far from England’s shores, Hugh is looking forward to spending the rest of his life as a bachelor – until his mama announces that she is on her way back home!

With his mother’s arrival date looming ever closer, Hugh needs to find a solution to this predicament – fast! However, despite of all of his best efforts, Hugh doesn’t know how he is going to get out of this corner he has backed himself into – until a chance encounter with the beautiful Minerva Merriwell ends up providing him with the answer to all of his problems…

Minerva is a woman who would do absolutely anything for her family and her beloved sisters. With money in increasingly short supply, Minerva is desperate to find a way that will support the people she loves most in the world and although posing as the Earl of Fareham’s fake fiancée seems absolutely nonsensical, Minerva is running out of options. Agreeing to pose as the Earl’s betrothed seemed the most logical thing for cash-strapped Minerva to do, but she never imagined that she would find herself falling head over heels in love with her convenient fiancé!

As the Merriwelll clan descends upon Hugh’s estate, the whole household is thrown into turmoil as everyone struggles to keep their story straight. Thrust in close proximity together, Minerva and Hugh begin to get closer and closer and they soon realise that there isn’t anything remotely convenient about their feelings for one another!

Will Minerva and Hugh’s fake engagement end up giving way to a love that will last a lifetime?

Virginia Heath is at her enchanting best with Never Fall for Your Fiancée. Hilarious, uplifting and a joy to read from start to finish, Never Fall for Your Fiancée is a delicious comedy of errors that is absolutely delightful. Virginia Heath has penned a delectable Regency romp full of witty repartee, sizzling banter, red-hot chemistry and emotional intensity that you will devour in one go.

Hugh and Minerva are a terrific double act and I was completely bowled over by their love story. Add a cast of eccentric and larger than life characters and plenty of high society mischief to the mix and you have a first class Regency romance that deserves pride of place on your keeper shelf: Virginia Heath’s Never Fall for Your Fiancée.
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Based on the blurb, you know going in there will be hijinks, mixed with a good amount of humor. And while I enjoyed the farce that Hugh manages to drag everyone into, it probably won’t be for everyone. It’s not exactly a believable story line but I found myself just sitting back, relaxing, and letting myself enjoy it.

Hugh has more than his fair share of charm, handsome, and funny. But he’s also tormented by secrets and convinced that he’ll never be good husband material. As with most of the book, a little straightforward communication would solve pretty much all of his problems.

Poor and desperate, Minerva has different problems brought on by her agreement to help Hugh in exchange for enough money to take care of her family. She quickly finds herself over her head and juggling too many things, watching as everything quickly goes sideways.

Full of great supporting characters (a couple of whom I hope will be get their own HEA in the next book), comedy, and lots of drama, Never Fall for Your Fiancée is lighthearted and fun, not to be taken too seriously but enjoyable all the same.
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Minerva and Hugh were wonderful main characters and their romance was just amazing. Even if I wanted to climb into the book and bash their heads together at several points so that they would get over themselves and get together. Minerva was such a headstrong character and I adored how she challenged Hugh and also grew to move past her prejudices and grew as a person whilst she was falling for Hugh and being thrown into the deep end of it all. And Hugh too learning to move past his own faults so that he can be with Minerva was also so lovely to watch. And of course, Vee and Diana (Minerva's sisters) were also brilliant characters that I look forward to reading more about in the coming books. 

The romance was well written and the fake dating (or fake fiance) trope was done exceptionally well as was the mutual pining that these characters went through during the course of the book. Add all this to a regency era setting and you literally have the perfect book for me as it holds almost everything that I can want in a book. The climax was well written and the ending was so lovely and I cannot wait to see what happens to not only Minerva but also Vee and Diana in the next instalment in the series. 

The writing was wonderful and I had such a good time reading this book because not only was it a wonderful romance, it also worked historically and on top of that it was brilliantly funny in places!
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Oh my stars, this book was such a delight!

I enjoyed getting to know the Merriwells, one and all. Even when I thought I might lash out at young Vee, heaven forbid the poor chit play along to help her family...at least the ones that are there for her, unlike the curr that left them to fend for themselves. Even when I wanted Diana to put a sock in it with her accusations, and suspicions because clearly there were other things at stake and quite frankly there was a romantic possibility covered in biscuit crumbs that she could have been considering even while she let her tongue fly. Even when I fell into despair thinking that Minerva would back out of it all before it ever began, and who could really blame her with that spirited conversation she had with none other than the Earl. I just knew that they were going to be a family to remember, and boy did they prove me right over and over again!

My favorite part, outside of the outrageous, and ever growing elaborate lie, or should I say performance, itself was when Hugh was teaching Minerva to dance. She has two left feet, if ever one had them, and was point blank in stating as much. Hugh, however, was intent on getting through to her, and making her smile again, but that's a story for you to discover, so when push came to shove, he found a way. It was something small, yet endearing, and the joy it brings to both of them, simply makes you let loose a contented sigh. Of course, there are many other wonderful passages, exchanges, and moments to remember, but this one definitely sits on high for me. Curious to hear from other readers what their favorite part was too!

All in all, another wonderful release from an author that never fails to amaze me with her talent for creating characters to love, and stories to remember. I love that I can pick up any of her works, and get not only a well written story, but humor, wit, romance, strong female leads, and dashing potential heroes to be. Historical Fiction fans, if you haven't made her acquaintance yet, I suggest you do post haste!
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Ms. Heath is one of my favorite authors of Regency romances and she didn't disappoint.  I was sucked in from the first page to the last and read the book all in one day.  I loved the main characters and I'm happy to see this is the first in a new series and we'll be back for two more books since there are three Merriwell sisters.  This is Minerva and Hugh's story and it's set in England in the early 1800's.

When Minerva and Hugh unexpectedly meet when he comes to her rescue it seems meant to be since her name is Minerva.  He just so happened to have told his mom that his fiancée's name is Minerva and he meets someone by that name just when he needs to have a fiancée since his mom is coming to England from America for a visit.  They come to a monetary agreement, she and her sisters will be staying at his family's country estate, she learns the backstory of what he's told his mother and the story takes off from there.  He's got a title and she's a commoner but that doesn't seem to matter, or does it?

There are lies, secrets, family (some real/some fake) and friends, attraction, denial, lack of communication, outings, gatherings, parties, romance, loving and love.  The story had a good flow and was a fast-paced read.  There are beautifully written descriptions of the clothes, the scenery  and Hugh's property.  There were many stories being told that are woven together nicely.  It was fun to watch their attraction grow especially since Hugh feels he can never marry due to a family history of philandering.  There are some chuckles along the way too.  There is a wonderful conclusion and a happily ever after with some hints of what's to come.  The cover was spot on!

I rated the book 4.5 stars but rounded to 5 stars here and on other sites.
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Trigger Warnings
This book contains:
•	Bribery in action
•	References and descriptions of con artist
•	Fake relationship.
Characters
Hugh is an Earl with a mother who’s insisting he needs to get married, except he’s not interested. He doesn’t feel like he’s suited to marriage or any long-term romantic attachments. Especially given the way his parents’ marriage progressed.
Minerva is an everyday woman working to survive and make enough money to keep her family afloat. After the way men have treated her in the past — her father, her almost fiancé and most of her customers — she’s got zero interest in becoming emotionally involved with one.
Storyline
Hugh’s caught out when he gets word that his mother is on the way home and wants to meet his made-up fiancé. Only problem is, she’s expecting to come to wedding planning, and he doesn’t even have a fiancé, let alone a wedding in preparation.
Thanks to a chance encounter with Minerva, he suddenly sees a way out of his disaster. He helps her, and then hires her to pretend to be his fiancé while his mother is in town. Of course, family is involved which means there’s all sorts of drama that gets in the way in the most interesting way possible!
Overall Thoughts
I had so much fun reading this. Most of the regency romance novels I read have more mystery or general drama in it. Not many of them have me laughing like I was with this one!
I mean, how much drama can happen in one book?
And the way they all interacted! Such chemistry!
The laughter had me going almost the whole way through the book with each little bit just adding to the whole thing. So when they did finally find their way together, it felt like something more was going to happen… then it didn’t.
Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.
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★★★★★ 4.5 stars (rounded up)

When I first read the premise for NEVER FALL FOR YOUR FIANCEE I thought what a fun read it sounded...and I wasn't wrong! While I am not generally a fan of rom-coms, I am an historical fiction and regency romance fan. This book has all that an more. It is hilarious and laugh-out-loud in some places as you watch the main players dig themselves deeper and deeper, leaving you wondering just how it is all going to pan out. While the fake fiancee concept and plot were fairly predictable, the characters in this lighthearted tale are truly delightful! I loved them! Yes, all of them...well, except for one "wastrel" as he is referred to more than once.

Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, is a confirmed bachelor and something of a scoundrel-slash-loveable rogue. His mother, now living in Boston in America with her second husband, is as intent on seeing him married off as he is intent on remaining a bachelor. And so, to stop her incessant matchmaking interference, Hugh embarks on a hugely embellished tale that he is engaged to a young woman called Minerva, which he then keeps up for two years. His tale is so elaborate that he has outlined a near fatal bout of consumption and the tragic death of her father in the Cairngorms in Scotland along with her amazing abilities to sing, dance and ride as if she were born to it. All of which is to come undone when his mother announces her intention to visit and meet the young woman who has managed to win her son's heart where others have failed.

Hugh finds himself in such a quandary until he comes to the rescue of a beautiful young woman, though articulate and well-spoken but obviously penniless, whose name happens to be Minerva. And an idea begins to form in his mischievous mind.

At 24 years of age, Minerva Merriwell has been the caretaker of her younger sisters Diana and Vee (short for Venus) since their mother died when Minerva was nine and their sole guardian since their good-for-nothing wastrel of a father abandoned them three sisters when she was barely 19. With the responsibility of caring and providing for herself and her two sisters, Minerva makes a simple living as an engraver but it barely covers the rent let alone food and clothing for them and her worries are never-ending. When she confronts one such employer of her services to politely request payment for which he is four weeks late, he blatantly refuses until Hugh steps in upon witnessing the scene, taking charge and ensuring the debt is settled immediately and escorting Minerva home.

Naturally, Hugh cannot believe his good fortune upon learning that this captivating young woman shares the same name of his fake fiancee and, after a banter of sorts, blurts out an offer that Minerva finds herself unable to resist. For forty pounds, he'll pay Minerva to act as his fiancee for the benefit of his matchmaking mother and then create some sort of falling out that will end their two-year long engagement. Although she has reservations, for she really knows nothing of this man and she's not entirely happy about the idea of such deception, Minerva finds the offer tempting indeed. And although facing destitution, the Merriwells had morals...well, she and her sisters did, unlike their wastrel father. However, forty pounds would feed, clothe and house them for two years and it was only for a couple of weeks. Despite her initial reservations or conferring with her younger siblings, Minerva agreed to act as his fiancee one one condition - her sisters accompanied her to Standish House for the duration where each woman was measured, fitted and provided with an entire wardrobe each. And in turn, Minerva learnt a whole lot more than she ever bargained for!

When Hugh regaled his plans to his friend and co-hort Giles, Lord Bellingham, his friend laughed his idea out of the water and envisioned nothing but problems coming his way. In fact, he looked forward to it all falling apart and delivering a well-deserved "I told you so" after ensuring he witnessed the entire debacle, of course. But desperate times call for desperate measures...and Hugh was a desperate man. He loved his mother dearly and wanted nothing more than to please her with presenting her with his adoring fiancee. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her. And the more he came to know Minerva, the last thing he wanted to do was hurt her too.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive...

Hugh should have taken heed of Shakespeare's warning because despite his good intentions neither he nor Minerva could foresee the problems that were to encompass them. Although Giles did, except he was quick to disappear early on in the piece when he was to be the engineer of fate that ended Hugh and Minerva's engagement and impending marriage. Leaving the fake nuptials and their extended families dancing around the entire deception that was both entertaining and comical. Hugh's mother Olivia and her husband Jeremiah were rightly suspicious but still delightfully unaware whilst Diana and Vee, assisted by Hugh's loyal butler Payne and an actress Giles acquired to play the girls' mother, reluctantly performed their parts against their better judgements.

As the plot unravelled, so did the lies and deception, with hilarious consequences. And despite their fake engagement, there is an obvious chemistry between Hugh and Minvera that had me wanting to shake the couple into sense. And despite their convoluted conversations, they still seemed to misinterpret one another's intentions that resulted in many a frustrating foray for the couple...as well as the reader! It is this that makes the tale feel a tad overlong in places but it is still a delightfully entertaining read. And Giles, for all his foolhardiness and bonhomie, is a delightfully unrepentant scoundrel that adds a comic banter to the whole charade. But my favourite would have to be the butler, Payne. OMG...his role in the entire debacle is witty and dutifully hilarious! No butler would dare speak to his master as Payne does but it is done so wonderfully wittily and oh so clever...I just adored his character. The scene where he walks in and helps himself to the brandy in front of everyone is brilliant...as is his late-night to-ing and fro-ing between the uncommunicative couple delivering each of their messages until he decides he is leaving Hugh and his predicament to go to bed. The whole scene was hilarious. I just loved it and I loved Payne.

But of course one cannot help but also fall in love with Hugh and Minerva. They are a delightful pair, so opposite to one another they are perfect for each other. And yet, they fail to see it despite the battle of wills and emotions they each fight with themselves and each other. They are as delightful as they are frustrating.

While NEVER FALL FOR YOUR FIANCEE is a wonderfully funny historical fiction with a touch of regency romance set in 1825 in Hampshire, the locale of the Standish estate, there is a slightly steamy scene for which one might need smelling salts and a hand fan to this otherwise virtuous romantic comedy. The plot is fun and ridiculously over the top in parts but oh so delightfully delicious in others. I use the word "delightful" a lot to describe this tale because it really is. There is no other way to describe it besides hilarious and entertaining. It is like nothing else I've read and so not my usual genre of choice.

While my usual genre of choice is psychological or domestic thriller or wartime fiction, I absolutely adored this hilarious tale and find myself awaiting more adventures of the Merriwell sisters...in the hope that Hugh and Minerva feature prominently of course as their chemistry is just scintillating.

I cannot rate NEVER FALL FOR YOUR FIANCEE high enough though I do drop half a star for drawing the tale out a little longer than I feel was necessary. But whether that was me who had been trying to steal moments to devour this delight whilst in the midst of moving, I cannot say. I give it 4.5 stars but round it up to 5 anyway because it is well-deserved for the sheer pleasure of hilarity.

I would like to thank #VirginiaHeath, #Netgalley, #EternalBooks and #RachelsRandomResources for an ARC of #NeverFallForYourFiancee in exchange for an honest review.
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This was so much fun to read. I loved the slightly far fetched premise of Hugh needing a fiancee called Minerva and he just so happened to bump into Minerva at an opportune moment! Having said that, this was very entertaining and I kept wondering if they were going to pull the deception off. I really liked all the characters and would like to read the next in the series.
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This is a super fun romcom for those of you who enjoy historical fiction and the fake dating trope. I wouldn't say it depends wholeheartedly on the historical aspect and is contemporary perhaps in the same way that things such as Bridgerton are. I also think it would be good for people just starting out in the genre as it is relatively fast paced and I was hooked very quickly.
The characterisation is good, I there are some real characters in terms of the relatives featured in the novel (the family aspect was something I really liked.) There is definitely a lot of potential for the further companion books in this series and I am inclined to say I would pick them up if the fancy took me.
The writing is nothing spectacular but I think as a whole the book sets out to do what it says on the tin and I can't complain about that. Its just fun and that will appeal to a lot of people I am sure.
Rated: 3.5 Stars
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A sweet historical romance, Never Fall For Your Fiance is chock full of tropes that every romance lover will instantly recognise as they are totally sucked in!

There is nothing particularly original here, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable! If you want a good, angst filled romance you've come to the right place!

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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This new historical rom-com series will pick up your interest at the start.

Hugh doesn't want to marry but his mother is determined to get him a wife which results in his invention of a fiancee to get his mom off hook. But all goes for a toss when his mother is about to come to meet him and where will he find his imaginative fiancee. 

Until he meets Minerva, the same name as his imagination. Minerva has to support her two sisters and with the shrink in their income she considers Hugh's proposal of being his fake fiancee. But will everyi remain fake as intended? Read to find out..

The story is simple and easy going. The fake engagement is entertaining with undeniable chemistry and filled with drama. Though predictable you won't help but find it great to read. All the characters were charming and interesting. This was funny, light and delightful read. I enjoyed reading this and would recommend to fans of historical romance. Can't wait to read the next in series.
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5 Word Review: Secrets, lies, family, society, love.

This book. It filled me with sheer joy. I loved every part of it and it brought me to tears with how much it made me laugh. It is such a fun read and perfect for brightening even the darkest of days.

Hugh tries so hard and puts so much effort into hiding his true self, and boy was I exhausted reading it. I loved seeing Minerva pick him apart and tear down the walls he'd built. I'm not sure I understand why he didn't want to be seen as such a good man, to me it came across as a very clever look at toxic masculinity and how it can be countered.

Minerva is amazing. She's so talented and special, and I loved her deep love for her family. She has had so much responsibilities and life has not been easy for her. Her determination shone through. With her sisters she ended up in the difficult position of being both a sibling and a parent, and it gave great depth to her character as she tried to navigate that.

When it comes to Hugh and Minerva together, goodness me. There is banter and passion and an attraction that they try to deny. It's so much fun, and the slow build up and the change from admiration to love is perfection. The charade that they try to play out definitely complicates things in the most fun way, and made it easier for lines to become blurred.

The setting is wonderful too, and I loved the contrast from where Minerva came from and where she ended up. They're like opposite ends of the spectrum. It led to certain characters being called out about their privilege and challenged about how they conduct themselves, which I thought was excellent.

Have I said how fun this story? I feel like I haven't stressed enough how utterly entertaining Never Fall for Your Fiancée is.

Virginia Heath is queen of putting a massive smile on my face, and I don't think I'll ever turn down the chance to read one of their books. Prepare for your heart to be filled to bursting.
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I am a bit hit and miss with historical romances but I really enjoyed this one. It was a quick and easy read that made me laugh and cry. The writing was good and the characters are developed well with heartwarming relationships throughout the book. Overall an enjoyable read.
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Received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from the author through Rachel’s Random Resources as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Never Fall For Your Fiancée is a sweet, humour filled story that I was excited to see on my Kindle the day it arrived. Historical Romance, to me, is a difficult genre to master because it relies a lot on the facts of the past: the lifestyle, trends, rules, etiquettes, etc, that needs to be incorporated into and along with the story of the book. If anything, it is part of the world building of the book. Another big obstacle is the very outdated ideas of women that comes with writing about older times. Bringing that into a book and somehow balancing it out with present ideas and ensuring the reader isn’t unhappy with the representation on page is certainly no easy feat.

For the most part Never Fall For Your Fiancée doesn’t tread on too many toes while dancing to its tune. There are comments here and there that may sadden a reader, but there are also empowered, kind and lovely women who are portrayed in the story. Some very interesting aspects of the story actually involve how women react to their situations and I did feel that they certainly outdid themselves for the most part.

My favourite character was heroine: Minerva. She was the most well developed character in the story and reading through her eyes was lovely and the reader gets a feel of her personality from her thoughts easily. This ‘tenor’ of her character comes through so well that at no point did I stumble in trying to understand whose perspective I was reading from. Minerva’s relationship with herself, her family and her responsibilities is delivered very well and for someone in dire straits, she held herself with better grace and conviction than most, never losing herself even when her circumstances seemed greater than her.

Hugh. Hugh was a harder character for me to like because of how most of his perspective initially (and through the middle of the book) involved losing himself in physical descriptions of Minerva’s form/beauty. His character was meant to be a rogue/scoundrel, however I didn’t particularly feel that coming through too much. While that did tie in with some aspects of the plot, a large part of it depended on his character being a certain way and thus fell disjointed in this aspect. I didn’t see Hugh’s love for Minerva grow as much as I saw Minerva’s for Hugh blossom. However, seeing a nice hero is always welcome!

The writing is flowery and humour filled. It was comfortable and easy to read, and even though the plot took a long while to unfold, the writing itself kept me fairly engaged. The plot, as mentioned, perhaps fell a little short because of some of the discrepancies in what was required and what was executed. Also, a large part of the plot hangs on miscommunication–a very very risky move that requires fantastic writing to balance. Additionally a lot of that miscommunication does not even come through until the very end, which does make the plot feel a little loose and the climax unfulfilling from that angle alone.

However, all the characters are rather well developed, each page always has something happening and the humour is always present. Never Fall For Your Fiancée can be a quick, warm read with laughter and warmth. Go in expecting a kinder hero, an even-tempered heroine (that we really need more of in the book world) and biscuit loving best friends and a dedicated theatre actress! 3.5 stars! Happy reading!
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I really enjoyed this book! Watching the two characters fall for each other was wonderful. It had me laughing and crying. A perfect historical romance with a brilliant fake dating plot line.
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Never Fall for your fiancée" is an enjoyable and entertaining romp. Ms. Heath is a talented historical romance author and this book in a new series does not disappoint.

Hugh Standish has invented and wildly embellished a fake fiancée to prevent his mother from continued matchmaking. She currently resides in America but had enlisted her friends to help in her cause.

As the story opens, Hugh learns his mother is coming to England to meet his fiancée Minerva and he is at his wits end as Minerva doesn't exist. When he runs into and rescues a woman and finds out her name is actually Minerva, he feels it is fate and offers to pay her to pretend to be his fiancée for the duration of his mothers visit. Minerva and her sisters are penniless and although it goes against her moral code, she agrees to the scheme.

Of course, things don't go smoothly and hijinks ensue.

I really enjoyed this story but did have a bit of a quibble with Hugh and his insistence that it was part of his heritage to be a horrible husband and therefore did not ever want to marry. You can tell from the beginning that he is a decent, caring guy. The conflict went a bit over long.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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new Virginia Heath book has landed, and it’s blooming marvellous!!

I have been an avid reader of Virginia Heath’s books right from day one, I have read every single one of her books (unless one has passed me by while I was walking around looking at clouds or something) and hand on heart this is by far one of the very best (obviously a certain Jamie Warriner will forever be locked against my heart). I have always loved her marvellously witty sense of humour which she purs like molten chocolate in her stories, I have felt that a few of her latest offerings have been missing something, nothing huge just something was missing but this one has all the magic plus much more that I fell in love with from day one. As I say, it’s easily one of her very best!

Never Fall for Your Fiancee is the first book in the marvellous Regency-set; Merriwell Sisters series and what a fabulous first look into what is going to be a stonking great fun series. It tells the stories of the three Merriwell sisters; Minerva, Diana and Vee. I am super excited to follow these three sisters through this new series, I know it’s going to be a wonderful adventure.

In this first book we see them down on their luck, eldest sister Minerva is having to keep their little family together after their useless father has upped and deserted a sinking ship. The image of a rat swimming ashore springs to mind at that feckless piece of human excrement (apologies for my language). So, our Minerva is left high and dry to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Hugh has spent the last two years trying to keep his match-making mother at arm’s length and keep her interfering ways at bay, so he comes up with the perfect way to stop her from finally having him trapped in vicars mousetrap. He fakes a fiancee, but this isn’t of a cuff comment of ‘oh, I’ve found myself a fiancee’ he goes to town with the lies, even going so so as faking love letters between them. Yup, our boy is pretty desperate to keep his mama at bay!

His plan was working to perfection that is until mother dearest decides that she is coming back to England from America to help with the wedding and to meet his fiancee – eep!! He is well and trully in trouble now, with no fiance and mother who has one thing on her mind bobbing her way over the sea, he’s dug himself into a very deep hole and lost the ladder to climb out – while at the top of the hole stands a laughing Giles (I can’t wait for him to be brought down a peg or two).

While he is rather sullenly walking around London, he comes across a beautiful damsel in distress who is demanding what is due to her, he may be a selfish rake but even he has a mediocre sense of right and he is a gentleman (of some sort) he jumps in saves the day and then makes her an outrageous offer which sets the ball rolling for a hilarious set of events to come.

I really, really liked Minerva, she is a strong, determined, resilient woman who I connected with instantly. I loved her artistic side, her skill of advertisements and wood stamping something which she would love to earn a good living. It is while she is trying to get payment from one of her adverts that a handsome rake appears out of nowhere and helps her.

I loved Hugh, he really did dig himself in deep he made all these huge messes and now is in despair when all those balls he’s juggling trying to live the life he wants comes crashing down around his head. He wants nothing to do with the marriage mart and only has minds for fun and frivolity. But, I had a sense of something else about his personality looming beneath the surface, he doesn’t want to end up like his father, he doesn’t want to disappoint and make any wife miserable – he also thinks being a Standish he will end up just like those who came before him. Which is a way of explaining why he is such a mess, confused, emotionally fractured, out of his comfort zone and just wanting to sit in a darkened room alone with a glass of something! He never expected to find himself amongst the chaos he ends up living over the course of the weeks they put on this charade and amongst the chaos and madness and the hilarity a frisson of romance blossoms something else he neither wanted nor expected.

The romance between them is in one word, fun. The banter is off the charts, it’s wonderfully quick with a perfectly posed wry humour, both our couple gives as good as they get. This is what Virginia Heath is the queen off, sizzling, laughing out loud and charmingly tongue in cheek humour which will leave you giggling as much as sighing

I love the eclectic and at times outlandish cast of characters, especially the hilariously drunken actress who is hired to play the mother of Minerva and her sisters. I laughed so much through those scenes, she is an absolute hoot. You also have Giles; Hugh’s best friend and fellow rake, I do want to see him being pinned down and put through hell, and Minerva’s sister’s; Diana and Vee are wonderful, the three sisters are so different and yet they are such a strong little team, I know we are going to have lots of fun with those two.

The plot is brilliantly bonkers, it’s highly entertaining and so much fun it has all the feels of a classic rom-com movie, think along the lines of Leap Year and French Kiss mixed with a good old Carry On. All we need now is an ‘Oooh Matron’ or an ‘In for me, in for me..‘ moment and we have it all. Above all this book just leaves you feeling happy – plus having to stitch the side back together with all the giggling.

Never Fall for your Fiancee is a laugh out loud romantic and deliciously charming comedy, it’s has misguided wring turns, hilarious bloopers and trouble and strife at every corner, plus amongst all the good-hearted fun you have two people who at first glance really shouldn’t be even in the same room as each other, but they just work. Both are acting to be what they are not and both find the truth of the other far more alluring. It’s a sweet slow-burning romance, it’s not a boom set eyes on each other and let’s have a good old romp in the bushes, their romance blossoms at a natural pace throughput and when they do finally get on with it, it’s sensuous and endearing.

This is rollicking good fun and highly entertaining. Wonderful characters, who will make you swoon and laugh, an imaginative and original plot that speeds along at break-neck pace and marvelous rich and glittery historical detail. Overall, a real winner, I can’t wait for book two!
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