Born to Be Wilde by Eloisa JamesThe Wildes of Lindow Castle #3
Published on July 31, 2018 by Avon
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
The richest bachelor in England plays matchmaker…for an heiress he wants for himself!
For beautiful, witty Lavinia Gray, there's only one thing worse than having to ask the appalling Parth Sterling to marry her: being turned down by him.
Now the richest bachelor in England, Parth is not about to marry a woman as reckless and fashion-obsessed as Lavinia; he's chosen a far more suitable bride.
But when he learns of Lavinia's desperate circumstances, he offers to find her a husband. Even better, he'll find her a prince.
As usual, there's no problem Parth can't fix. But the more time he spends with the beguiling Lavinia, the more he finds himself wondering…
Why does the woman who's completely wrong feel so right in his arms?
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This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
So far, the Wildes of Lindow Castle series has been hit or miss and Born to be Wilde is no different. Where Wilde in Love was a hit, and Too Wilde to Wed was a miss, this one fell somewhere in the middle with both great (and not so great) elements.
We’ve met Lavinia Gray in previous books and this time she’s the heroine of her own story. Her life’s taken a turn for the worst and she’s pretty desperate to fix things and decides to use her wealthy childhood. . . friend, Parth Sterling. All in all, I’m here for this because it has a serious enemies-to-lovers vibe that I couldn’t pass up.
But I think James took the enemies-to-lovers a bit too literally. Which I didn’t think possible, to be honest. Almost the entire book is spent with each of the characters thinking the other didn’t like them. There’s slow burn and then there’s never-ending. And the reasons were pretty weak.
Lavinia was the most interesting character, dealing with financial ruin and her mother’s laudanum addiction. She knew she had to do whatever she could to ensure her family’s well-being (and her own as well). I thought her constant insults toward Parth to hide her feelings grew old quickly, and I’ve noticed that it’s a pattern with this series.
Then there’s Parth, who’s the stereotypical alpha male with little more to make him worth caring about. He throws insults back, speaking of Lavinia as though she’s a frivolous air-head with little to offer anyone beyond her looks. As if the author knew he needed something to make his character interesting, she made him half-Indian, half-English. While that in itself isn’t strange for the time period (I would think, though I’m no expert), it seemed to play little role in who he was as a character so I questioned why James even included it when it made no difference.
I constantly questioned why I needed to care about their romance. Sure, they had heat when it came to the more explicit scenes, but it went from tension-filled sarcasm to mindless banter. Third in the series and I’m worn out with the couples relying on insults to spark their romance.
Unfortunately Born to be Wilde could have stood a chance if Parth wasn’t so dull as a leading gentleman and there was more to their relationship than trading quips back and forth. I’d say this wasn’t as good as the first book, but definitely better than the second (at least some of the dialogue was entertaining).
If you’ve stuck with the series so far, I’d say give this one a go to give closure to Lavinia’s story, if nothing else. And for those of you new to the series, I can’t recommend it as a whole at this point after these last couple books.