Cinderella and the Scarred Viscount
An imperfect proposal…But a perfect match?
Major James Rossington, Viscount Austerfield, survived Waterloo, but can he survive the season as London’s most eligible bachelor? Convinced his battle scars make him unlovable, and to escape society’s matchmakers, Ross proposes a wedding in name only to shy, sensible Carenza Bettridge. Liberated from her cruel stepmother and bullying half sisters, she blossoms into a confident, altogether desirable woman. He promised Carenza a convenient marriage but inconveniently finds himself wanting more…
Ross is being pressured to marry by the women in his family, but has no desire to. Carenza is a spinster, with an insecure future. A marriage of convenience seems to be the answer.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Carenza is quite content with her life and has no plans to marry. She lives at her father's country estate, looking after the house, and her father, as his health deteriorates.
The only shadow is her stepmother and half-sisters. They treat Carenza like a servant, and blame her for everything wrong in their lives.
Ross survived the battle that wiped out most of his men, but he has been left heavily scarred. But he is an unmarried Viscount and the Ton (and his family) won't leave him alone. Not a fan of society,
Ross doesn't like the way people look at him - in disgust.
He reluctantly visits two unmarried young ladies, in an attempt to quiet everyone. But once in their home, he strikes up a friendship with their dowdy half-sister.
I liked the growing friendship between Ross and Carenza, it was sweet and natural.
Oddly, I also liked how Carenza's family are portrayed - it starts with them not seeming too bad, and gets worse during Ross' stay with them, until you realise how foul they actually are.
I was a little disappointed that they featured only for the first part. There is a similar person with wicked intentions later on, but it wasn't quite as entertaining as the girls; and I found the plot to be very predictable.
The writing and storyline were OK. I wasn't enraptured, and I personally thought it had flashes of modernity throughout the Georgian setting.
Carenza was a nice enough character, but she had no agency of her own. There were some frustrating moments when she changes her mind for no apparent reason.
Like when we're told the only thing Carenza had heard about sex was how painful and unpleasant it was. Jumping to her leading the way without any hint of uncertainty in what she is doing.
(And the other thing at the party - I can't believe she's that much of a numpty; or that Ross' sister is so painfully ignorant when she's such a busy-body.)
Overall, this was 2.5 out of 5 for me.