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Never Fall For Your Fiancée

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Member Reviews

Thank you Rachels Random Resources, Headline Eternal Publishers and Virginia Heath for gifting me a digital copy of Never fall for your fiancée in exchange for an honest review.
In never fall for your fiancée we follow Minerva and Hugh as they work their way through society with Minerva’s financial issues and Hugh’s nagging mother this mismatched pair seem destined to have met. 
I really enjoyed never fall for your fiancée, I loved Minerva and her strength and the relationship between her and her sisters. Diana is such a great character with a cynicism that I thoroughly enjoyed and can’t wait for another book with Diana as the lead.
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Will his lies free him or entrap him even more …

The author bewitched me in a few minutes some years ago when I opened my first book by her, I owe her the reawakening of my love for historical romances, and after a tasting scene of a poultry cooked with its feathers in the first Warriners book, I have never missed any of her new releases.
And it will continue as such.

So I was even more curious to read what the author is able to concoct without the length constraints dictated by Harlequin.

I do no know for the two younger Merriwell sisters as they appear else childish or jaded, but Minerva the eldest was a heroine as I like them, the perfect compromise between honor, mothering, bitterness and resilience. She first rejected Hugh’s outrageous offer, yet pride and dignity do not put food on the table. So even if she does not believe in his scheme to be tenable for the length, it will offer she and her sisters a respite from all their troubles. As the one who kept them together when their fickle sire abandoned them, she sees a way to better their future even if the means are wrong, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Hugh is a man who tends to avoid confrontation, so instead of telling his mother to stop meddling in his life, he made up an imaginary fiancée. Believing it was the easiest path. And while he could have confessed all was a lark, he just hires a woman to act as said fiancée. Entangling them in a cas of events none saw coming. Worse, he is attracted to his false betrothed, when her very existence was due to his need to avoid matrimony. So he is torn between the pull he feels toward her and his certainties he is not made for married life.

But making reality match with fiction is not an easy feat when there are sisters who offer their very personal insights, friend happy to watch the plan spiraling down, too involved fake soon-mother-in-law and the many ups and downs no one predicted but us readers are happy to follow as the plot drowns even more into the mud.

This read is loaded with hilarious moments, funny banters and bickering, plus quite a sum of misunderstandings and many meddlers to add layers upon layers to the intrigue. 
I loved Payne the butler, a pain in the rear of Hugh yet a great ally and Hugh’s best friend Giles.
4.5 stars

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 onscreen lovemaking scene.

I have been granted an advance copy by the author, here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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I loved, loved, loved this story! I was constantly on edge waiting for the house of cards to come tumbling down, yet also laughing at the characters such as Payne and Lutencia, and the things they said. It was such a romantic story and built nicely; my only complaint is that it could've done with an epilogue
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Never Fall For Your Fiancee
First book in The Meriwell Sisters Series
Rating: 4 stars
Thank you to the author/publisher for the ARC given through NetGalley for review.  All opinions are my own.

Never Fall For Your Fiancee follows one of my favorite tropes....fake-engagement romance.  This is the first book in a new series that follows the lives of three sisters whose father has left them and their mom passed away when they were young.  Therefore it has been Minerva, the eldest, who has been head of the family for some time.  The three sisters have been struggling financially.  So when Minerva meets Hugh and he offers her to pose as his fiancee, she accepts the offer because he will pay her handsomely.  
Why the four star rating?  I really enjoyed seeing these two fall in love.  Poor Hugh had made up a backstory for his "Minerva" that it was a miracle they were able to keep up with their lies when his mother finally arrives at his estate.  Minerva and Hugh had great chemistry and I loved their bantering.  I loved how he just wanted to take care of her and make her worry less.  He wanted to be that person who she could depend on and not do everything alone.  Minerva was a strong female lead and I liked how she didn't put up with Hugh making decisions for her (even if he did them to protect her).
Some miscommunications ensue but I really didn't mind because the truth came out and certain situations were resolved that brought them closer each time. The secondary characters, especially Hugh's mom, Olivia, could be a little too much at times.  I can see she just wanted for her son to be happy and maybe if certain truths had been revealed earlier Hugh would of found his happiness sooner.
I highly recommend it if you enjoy reading fake engagement tropes.  

I look forwards to the next one!
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I loved this book! It’s fresh, fun and a totally original take on the regency romance genre. For me one of the best parts was the array of zany, secondary characters who really added to the story. The witty banter is brilliant and so entertaining! I also really liked how the heroine had such an unusual career and came from a lower class than the hero. All the characters are eminently likeable and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
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I have very mixed feelings about this. I really enjoyed the fake engagement, but I do think that there were some scenes where they had heartfelt moments that I was rather unconvinced by. I think there needed to be a bit more depth and a bit more vulnerability, more exploration of the pair discovering that they had true feelings for each other. I did love Minerva and Diana (Vee, less so) and Hugh was a great character. I would've liked Giles to be present a little more as I think it would've added more dimension to the story but it's not a dealbreaker, I don't think. Jeremiah and Olivia were a wonderful addition to the story, too. The ending did feel quite rushed, in my opinion -- a lot of jumping back and forth and snap decisions which felt a bit more on the youthful fanfiction side. I think it could have used an extra 20 pages or so just to lengthen it a little and make it all flow a bit better.

On the whole, it wasn't bad as a quirky historical romance, but it's certainly not without its flaws.
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What a fun story! It was like reading a Regency version of a 1940s slapstick comedy. I never knew what was coming next, and the banter was top notch. Underneath the comedy were layers of caring and struggle that made the book feel real.
Hugh and Minerva have fantastic chemistry, and they send up sparks every time they are on the page together. That causes them to fall into the role of couple very easily, but both of them have very good reasons why they cannot be together. As readers, though, we can see that they both bring out the best in each other and have great potential. Getting to their HEA is a wild ride.
The secondary characters were also a lot of fun, and I am very curious about how some of them will behave as the series goes on. While these characters added to the zaniness, they also added to the realism. Vee behaves like a teenager would in these circumstances, and Hugh's mother has a very compelling story to tell. A great read all the way around!
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This has to be one of my favorite books by Virginia Heath. Minerva Merriwell and Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, are an odd couple, but it works. Hugh has been lying to his matchmaking mother, who is on her way from Boston to call him on it. Through a series of circumstances he meets Minerva. He talks her into portraying his fiancee for a fee. Since she is extremely poor with two sisters to raise, it is tempting. An agreement is reached, and Minerva and her sisters Diana the cynic and Vee (short for Venus) the high-strung teenager, are on their way to Standish House.

That is where the story really begins. I loved the humor that is ever present. Hugh has dug himself in so deep in his outlandish story about his fiancee, the humor comes from him thinking on his feet to get around his problems. He has help, he has an entire script, and for the sake of the fee, Minerva buys in to it.

Then there is Giles, Hugh's best friend who adds his mite to make things even more confusing. My favorite is Payne his butler and confidant. Some of the best lines and looks come from Payne. He just has to appear on the page and I start smiling. My favorite scene with Payne occurs when everything, and I do mean everything, falls apart:

The butler returned, glared at Hugh, and then stalked to the fresh decanter of brandy he had only minutes before placed on the sideboard. He gripped it by the neck, pulled out the stopper, and swigged directly from the bottle. "Payne?" His mother took a regal sip of her rapidly cooling tea as if such a sight was commonplace.

There is so much more - Hugh's mother, his stepfather, and an actress. Towards the end it gets quite sad and serious, still there is a HEA, and two more books to come. Can you tell I loved it?

Ms Heath's books are always engaging, the characters are well developed and there are a lot of characters. Her writing just flows, it is nearly impossible to put down. It loses one star for steaminess, but other than that I highly recommend it.

Many thanks to Ms Heath, Amy the Assistant, and NetGalley for the free copy. I have given a true and honest review. And so it is. (less)
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Hugh has found himself in a predicament of his own creation. Years ago in order to avoid his mother matchmaking attempts he invented a fake fiancee, his imagination and writing had helped me a lot but now that his mother is coming back it won't be enough.

When he meets a woman that shares the same name with his fake fiancee, he is sure that he found the answer to his problems. 

Minerva is taking care of her younger sisters as she has been doing for years, her work as a illustrator hasn't been going great lately and this has created financial problems. When an earl is proposing to act as his fake fiancee for a month in order to placate his mother, in exchange for a substantial amount, she accepts. 

But Hugh's carefully crafted plan didn't take into account for uncertainties like a younger sister being uncooperative, his mother arriving early or for that he could be developing feelings for Minerva. 

I love how the forced proximity and fake dating trope were combined in the story. Hugh's plan and background story about his fiancee was so funny. 

I like Minerva and how she was protective without being naive. Hugh was closed off, preferring to hide himself behind his reputation. The two of them don't seem like a prefect match at first but as they spend time together they understand that their chemistry can't be denied. The romance was simple delightful.


* I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley.
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A bachelor and notorious rake with no intention of marrying, Hugh invents a fake fiancée to appease his persistent mother who lives in America. However, when he learns his mother is coming back for an extended visit, Hugh realizes his ruse is about to come to an end. Then he meets Minerva and convinces her to play his fiancée. Desperate for funds to help care for her sisters, Minerva reluctantly agrees to help Hugh deceive his mother. However, the more time this pair spends together, the more they realize that their feelings might not be entirely fabricated. What do you do when you start to fall for your fake fiancée?

This is such a fun and entertaining historical romance, and I loved the main characters. Hugh is very handsome and charming, and everybody likes him. However, he doesn’t believe in himself, and he only sees the bad qualities. Hugh considers himself a deplorable rake. He doesn’t give himself the benefit of the doubt and has resigned himself to a life without love. However, Hugh is kind and compassionate and much more hard-working than he lets on. He has many layers, and his patience, generosity, and kindness are as appealing as his good looks. Hugh grows a lot throughout the story and learns much about himself, his family, and his past. This helps him reconcile his future and his feelings toward Minerva.

Minerva is hard-working, talented, and strong, and she will do anything to protect the ones she loves. A quick-witted, beautiful, and outspoken nurturer with a compassionate heart, Minerva finds it difficult to keep up the façade as Hugh’s fiancée. She doesn’t like to lie, and she likes Hugh’s mother, which makes the ruse all the more difficult. Minerva is also out of her element, as she isn’t used to the wealth and opulence of Hugh’s estate. Minerva’s a talented engraver with a complicated family, and though she and Hugh come from different worlds, they are drawn together from the moment they meet.

The romance between Minerva and Hugh is my favorite part of the story. I like both characters so much, and together, they are quite a pair. I love how they challenge each other and see past the wall each has erected. Their interactions simmer with sexual tension, though they try to resist their growing feelings for each other for different reasons. I love how Hugh, in particular, feels so drawn to Minerva. He has never felt this way before, and his reactions to falling in love are priceless. Their connection is very strong, and though they have seemingly insurmountable obstacles standing in their way, including their differing social classes, the lies and fake engagement, and her shady father, their feelings for each other prove undeniable. They are so cute in their cluelessness about their feelings, and it’s as if everyone knows how they feel about each other except themselves.

Minerva’s fake mother is so dramatic and over the top, and her sister is the epitome of a petulant teen. The other characters are also entertaining, especially Hugh’s meddlesome mother and Minerva’s sarcastic and antagonistic sisters. There are a lot of personalities in the story. Even Hugh’s butler, who should be staid and serious, has his comedic moments, and I found myself chuckling throughout the story when one of these dynamic characters caused one mishap after another.

I really enjoyed Never Fall for Your Fiancée! It’s such a charming read, and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. There are hints of a potential romance with one of Minerva’s sisters, and I’m curious to learn more about her and her love story in the next book. Thanks so much to Virginia Heath and Rachel’s Random Resources for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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I absolutely loved this book, what a tangled web Hugh spun and at each twist he made it worse. It was laugh out loud in places, as he tried to keep all the pieces in the air. I really enjoyed how the couple worked together and it all worked out in the end. A historical romance with humour. Looking forward to the next book by Virginia Heath.
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Virgina Heath’s ‘Never Fall for You Fiancée’ was quick and easy read. While I didn’t necessary feel like it was a laugh-aloud historical romantic comedy, I did enjoy reading it. It was an uplifting read for when you feel tired and want an easy, but enjoyable story to read in bed. I would recommend this one to fans of regency style romances with interesting characters and complex family relations.
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Never Fall for Your Fiancee is a fun historical romance novel, and the first in The Merriwell Sisters Series. Hugh, believes himself to be the worst sort of rake, fabricates a fiancee named Minerva to stop his mother’s match making schemes. 

Afraid of the legacy of his male ancestors, Hugh’s mother schedules a visit which prompts him to find a real life Minerva to play the role of his true love. A chance encounter prompted by playing the Knight in Shining Armor, has him crossing paths with a real Minerva on the streets of London. 

So begins the story of living out the lie he’s kept alive for over two-years in correspondence with his mother. The secondary cast characters are an absolute delight - Gile, Minerva's sisters and the ever lively "fake" Mom of Minerva. The story is a true comedy of errors. Can there be a relationship built on a lie?

Thank you @lovearctually book club for the traveling ARC of Never Fall for Your Fiancee by @virginiaheathwrites Look forward to the next in the series.
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