ROMANCE

My Fair Baron

Crimson Romance: S. & S. (Romance Remade, Bk. 1). Sept. 2017. 304p. ebk. ISBN 9781507206096. $4.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
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When Claire Hastings's elder brother suddenly dies, she is eligible to inherit a vast fortune and her family home, as long as she is married to a society-approved titled gentleman by her birthday. With scarcely a month to go, Claire allows her best friend Lady Isadora to introduce her to impoverished baron William Knightley, who has recently made his living as a prostitute at Isadora's upscale brothel. Claire's independent, solitary lifestyle has her calculating how best to appear in love, while William struggles to remember his posh upbringing and mannerisms. Can they fool everyone into thinking they are a proper love match? Claire's matter-of-fact attitude contrasts nicely with some of the more ridiculous scenes, but the dramatic suspense of William's all-consuming guilt seems exaggerated. Debut author Laine's tendency for over-the-top embellishment might try some readers' patience, yet her playful approach to an arranged marriage ultimately pays off.
VERDICT The alternating scenes showcasing the pair's bumbling efforts in society coupled with sincere, tender displays of affection make My Fair Baron a fun and heartening read despite a few hiccups.

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