Cover Image: Never Fall for Your Fiancee

Never Fall for Your Fiancee

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I'm very hit or miss on historical romance and unfortunately this one was a miss for me. I just was not super interested in Hugh or Minerva. 2.5/5 stars. Not rating it or marking as read on Goodreads as I DNFed and am hoping to try again later
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Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, creates a fake fiancé in order to keep his mother from meddling in his love life. All is going great until his mother tells him she will be coming into town to meet her future daughter in law. Hugh panics and must find someone immediately to pose as his true love. That’s when Hugh meets Minerva, coincidentally who has the same name as his fake fiancé. Minerva is a poor artist is who caring for two younger sister and money is running out quickly. When Hugh approached her with the idea of being his fiancé to deceive his mother, it was an offer Minerva couldn’t resist given her financial situation. What can go wrong??

I loved this one. It was a fluffy, light hearted historical romance for anyone that loves the fake engagement trope to read. It is such an adorable romance and will satisfy readers looking for a quick romantic escape that’s easy to digest. The story is fairly predictable, but it doesn’t take away from the hours of enjoyment that it brings to the table. All the characters are likable in their own way. This is my Virginia Heath’s book and it was fantastic. I’m going to guess it will not be my last time I read her books as I am already excited for book 2 of this series
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I am so glad I requested to read this book! It is funny and adorable. When this is marketed as a historical rom-com it really is. I don't think I've read a book quite like this one. The characters are endearing and it's just sheer fun. Hugh and Minerva are wonderful together and make the book move along in such a great pace that you don't want to put the book down. I don't exactly know how to describe how quirky and cute this book was to read. It was absolutely perfect for a pick-me-up after finance and data analytics finals!

Loves:
Minerva and Hugh's moments together were so freaking cute! Their banter was top notch and I adored the way that their relationship grew. Sure, there were many moments of miscommunication but with Hugh's character I felt like it was more believable than so many other miscommunication tropes. I just enjoyed them together so much. They really do balance each other out and it's so nice (although Hugh would have thoughts for me on the use of that word). Also their characters outside of their relationship were well developed and I couldn't help myself but to root for them individually and as a unit.

The plot was incredibly entertaining! I mean a fake fiancée and finding a woman to fill in?!? It's great. The whole ride of the book is captivating and there's no really lagging area of the book. I found the plot twists to be surprising too. Like I did not see any of them coming, which was great as it's been a while since that's happened. There was so much that happened too that even if I tried to sit down and tell you a more spoiler-y synopsis I'd miss stuff.

And a special shout out to Hugh. I loved how self aware he was. I found him to be quite the gentleman and I'm quite besotted with him myself. 10/10 great male character even if he does make up fake fiancées.

Meh:
Hugh's whole reasoning for being single for his entire life honestly got annoying. His whole thing about his blood and who his father and grandfather were for being him, just seemed so drug out and annoying. I wanted more from this line and perhaps for some more reasoning behind it than was given. 

Honestly most of the secondary characters really, really annoyed me. Diana and Vee were absolutely childish and ridiculous. I know that Minerva tried her best to raise them, but I expected a more mature Diana as she was working and not such fanciful ideas from Vee. Plus I never really got why Hugh's mother was so pestering. I understand she wanted happiness for her son, but some open conversation about why he was staying single would have worked! Jeremiah and Payne were the only reasonable humans in the entire household

Long Story Short
Do I recommend this book? Yes. It was cute and a fun read. There were many laugh-out-loud moments! If you're in the mood for some craziness and a fun historical romance I highly recommend reading this one. Overall I really liked this book and would have no problem suggesting it to a friend.
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Initial Thoughts
I love a historical fiction romance, especially a regency rom-com. I was super excited to dive into this book. 

Some Things I Liked 
Humor. I loved the wit and dialogue in this story. There were so many laugh out loud moments and I loved pretty much any scene with Diana. 
Fake dating. I love this trope and it was so fun here. The lies became more and more elaborate and the situations more and more hilarious. 
Modern themes. I also really liked that the author had touches of modern themes in the end with scandals and understanding. Society at that time could be very cruel but I loved the way Hugh’s family was super supportive. 

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About 
I didn’t love Hugh’s excuses about why he was afraid of marriage. They seemed silly and far fetched. I feel like those ideas weakened his character and Minerva was too accepting of it (I’d think her character would think it was ridiculous). 

Series Value 
I can’t wait to read Diana and Giles story. That has enemies to lovers written all over it. Not going to lie, I kinda don’t care to read Vee’s story. But, maybe she’ll grow on me in the next book. 

Final Thoughts
I really liked this book. I think it’s a fun start to a new historical rom-com series that lots of readers will enjoy. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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When you invent a fake fiancée to trick your mother into thinking you have settled down, what could go wrong?

Hugh Standish, the Earl of Fareham, has been disguising himself as rake for years and attempting to thwart off his matchmaking mother who moved to America with her new husband. The only problem is she has decided to come back to visit him and he has concocted a tale about a woman with whom he has fallen in love in his letters to his mother. He rushes to find a woman who can fit the role of his doting fiancé. When he stumbled across Minerva Merriwell, he comes up with a brilliant plan. Minvera is struggling to provide for her sisters after their father abandoned them a few years ago. When Hugh comes up with a ridiculous plan that could help sustain them for at least a year, she realises she would be a fool to refuse. She and her sisters play along in the role as Hugh's plan to trick his mother has a quite a few hilarious hiccups along the way.

I had a feeling that I would absolutely love this book and my feeling was entirely correct. It is absolutely hilarious watching everyone in Hugh's home lie to appease his mother. The chemistry between Minerva and Hugh is so well written and all the antics that the entire group gets up to makes this such an enjoyable read, especially with the actress hired to play their mother.

Minerva's struggle to provide and her attempts to not only be a big sister but also a mother and father for her sisters is admirable. I liked how she is facing actual problems and is making a living to give a better life for herself and her sisters. Also, Diana is such a hoot and, while a little crazy, had moments that had me chuckling to myself.

I can't wait to read the author's books on the Diana and Vee.

I received an ARC via NetGalley for an honest review.
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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Book Tour 🛑 Never Fall For Your Fiancée by @virginiaheathwrites
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What are they odds that you create a fiancé with the name of Minerva and by chance run into a beautiful maiden of the same name? Here starts the high jinks of Hugh’s crazy scheme to outsmart his mother. The scheme includes an actress, a fake fiancé and her sisters, a rapscallion rogue, a best friend, a stepfather, a tell it like it is butler, and a mother who was quite the character. 
If only pesky feelings weren’t involved!.
I loved this one and highly recommend to regency romance readers. There is a touch of open door steam.
Out November 9th. Thank you to @smpromance and @netgalley for the ARC.
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This is a light comical romp--I can see it being a very visually funny movie or series--just it wasn't clicking for me.
Hugh was a bit of a coward and his best friend stereotypically smug. Minerva's sisters were annoying. The romantic chemistry wasn't there for me, although I never find instalove particularly appealing. Hugh thinking that, because his father and grandfather were unfaithful, he was incapable of fidelity (like it was genetic), was baffling and annoying. (Unlike, say, Anthony Bridgerton in "The Viscount Who Loved Me," whose father went into anaphylactic shock from a bee sting and died young, so Anthony is afraid of bees and thinks he will die young, which makes more sense.) There's a twist to Hugh's ancestry, but I won't explain that here. We'll see how the other books in the series do.
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Never Fall for Your Fiancée by Virginia Health 

We’ve got fake dating, a meddling mother, a deeper-than-he-looks rakish lead, and miscommunication galore. I’m on a roll with my e-reader right now, and gobbling up lighthearted & fun reads. This first book in a new historical romance series is both. There are virtually no surprises, it’s pure & simple entertainment. The premise struggles to keep the plot afloat as it’s thin, but my advice here is don’t think to hard, just enjoy the far-fetched story of an earl avoiding responsibility by hiring a fake fiancée he ends up developing feelings for. 

In a similar reading mood earlier this year I read To Love or to Loathe (a story with similar vibes), and for what it’s worth I enjoyed this more. I recommend this for those fans of the trope, who don’t get irritated by frequent miscommunications as a plot device, and those looking for some breezy reading fun. 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and to Netgalley for access to a free e-copy of this upcoming novel in exchange for an honest review. It’s out November 9!
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Hugh Standish lied to his mother about being engaged to avoid her meddling in his dating life. When his mother decides to come to visit, Hugh decides to take the lie to the next level paying a woman named Minerva to be his fiancé and an actress to be her mother. As the title suggests, as Hugh and Minerva spend more time together and fall in in love. There is a lot of anticipation as you wait for Hugh and Minerva to finally kiss and then realize they were meant to be. I enjoyed the humor as all of the lies piled up, but there is a happily ever after. I look forward to seeing what happens with the other sisters, grouchy Diana and weepy Venus.
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Fans of Heath’s category historicals will enjoy the first installment in her Merriwell Sisters series, an historical rom-com with refreshingly witty banter. 

Book reviewed for Booklist: Oct 1.
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Never Fall for Your Fiancee is billed as an historical romance.  I read quite a bit of contemporary romance, but hardly any historical romance.  To me this read more like a contemporary romace than a historical one.  The plot was cute, and there were quite a few funny moments.  Overall though I didn't find that the two main characters had any chemistry.  The actual romance between the two was lacking, and it was hard to believe that they actually 'fell' for each other.  Some of the supporting characters were more entertaining then the MCs.  Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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Never Fall for your Fiancée was a really fun historical romcom that made for a quick and entertaining read!
Fake dating, or in this case fake engagement, is one of my all time favorite tropes so that definitely drew me to the story initially. 
A lot of the conflict throughout the book was due to miscommunication so that was frustrating at times. Some parts of the book were just so hard to believe. I know they were included to add more drama and humor but, even taking into account that it’s a romcom, it sometimes felt a little over the top. 
There were so many instances where I just wanted to shake the MCs because they were frustratingly stuck in their ways and not opening up to each other but that was a sign to me that I was invested in their story. 
I did really like the connection between Minerva and Hugh. They seemed to fit well with each  other and their romance was nice to read about. There was a little bit of spice which was fun too. 
I also liked getting to know Minerva’s sisters so I’m hoping the next books will be about them! I could see a little something happening with Diana and Hugh’s friend Giles. 
This was a quick and enjoyable read overall and I’ll probably check out the next installments. 
Thank you so much to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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Hugh, Earl of Fareham, invented a fiancee named Minerva to get his mom off his back trying to find him a spouse. After two years of detailing their relationship in letters to his mom who's been living in Boston, his mom writes to announce her imminent arrival back in England to speed up the wedding plans. After bumping into a woman named Minerva on the street, he sensed an opportunity. He offers to pay her to come to his estate to pretend to be his fiancee before breaking off the engagement in front of his mom. She shows up with her 2 (real-life) sisters, and along with Hugh's friend Giles, an actress they hired to play Minerva's mom, and Payne, the butler, they set up a farcical performance to convince Hugh's mom and stepdad of their relationship.

⭐️⭐️⭐️
Genre: historical romance (fake dating, regency)
Location: England
Release Date: Nov. 9, 2021

This book had real highs and lows for me...

The highs: it was so funny sometimes. In places I was literally giggling out loud. The drunk actress hired to be the mom. The classic comedy of errors type humor kept me on my toes as a reader. Their relationship was sweet -- their magnetism really kept in this. 

The lows: it felt repetitive - it kept echoing certain themes and even the wording felt repetitive. It felt like it could have used another more aggressive edit to streamline the storyline to eliminate some of this repetition. The writing felt a little flowery in places and just felt like the story dragged - I wanted it to move forward more.

It reminded me a bit of Bringing Down a Duke in the storyline and I was excited for it, but again, it just felt a bit slow and repetitive for me.

I'm assuming the next book will be about Diana and Giles, and I'm here for it. 

Thanks to St. Martin's Press / St. Martin's Griffin and #netgalley for the advanced ebook!
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Oh poor oblivious crazy scheme induced Hugh…… are you not the cutest knight in tarnished armor. This book has so much witty hilarious banter with crazy conundrums and some super slow burn spice to it! 

Synopsis: Hugh, a self proclaimed bachelor, must trick his mother into a 2 year long scheme of fake engagement to none other than the elusive Minerva. (The pinnacle of perfect lady) After receiving notice that his mother is returning from America, he must figure out how to solidify his plan to continue the ruse and end it before it gets too out of hand. But is he able to? Or does he make a complete dolt of himself? 

Review: I haven’t laughed this hard in a while. I couldn’t put this hilarious book down with the banter, constant kerfuffles, and the slow burn it was just historical romcom goodness:)  I loved the twists this book took, and the hilarious actress. The stolen moments were to die for and the trip to the sea completely swoon worthy! I will definitely be looking for more books from this author in the future. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that has read To Love and To Loathe and enjoys a little steam but more of a slow burn. 

Content Warning: Father Abandonement/Parental Adultery/Poverty
Clean Rating: Steamy! Not Clean:) 

Thank you to netgalley for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are 100% mine.
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Thanks to NetGalley and st. Martin's Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for this review.

Of all the fake engagement schemes I've read, this one is the most ludicrous. 

Hugh, a philandering rake, lies to his mother for years about a nonexistent fiancee and now that she's on her way to visit, he must procure one. Minerva, a sensible woman, or at least she was before she agreed to this half-baked idea, agrees, simply because she is poor and needs the money Hugh can provide.

Hijinks ensue, including the operatic and alcoholic fake mom, and interfering mother-in-law, the blackmailing crook of a father, and a half-sister that propel this story from historical rom-com to utter insanity. And not in a good way.

This book was a mess. I was too focused on the complete depravity of the situation to really enjoy the love story being told. Additionally, I thought that Hugh's motivations for being anti-marriage were flimsy at best. And despite that, the author still managed to make it feel like his choices at the end of the boom were a complete departure from his character. If I had been Minerva I would have stayed far, far away.

That was a rough read.
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This was a fun read.  A little hard to get started but once it got rolling it was an enjoyable read.  A funny, smart…partly historical story.
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Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for an opportunity to read NevEr Fall For Your Fiancé 

This is  a fun and witty story with lots of banter and some fun secondary characters ( except maybe Minerva’s younger sister who acted much younger than her age !)

3.5 🌟
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Rating: Loved It (4.5 Stars)

This was such a fun book. To be honest, I was a little skeptical at the beginning because I wasn't sure how I felt about the writing style, but I ended up loving it! This is a fun historical romance that made me laugh out loud multiple times. 

We follow Hugh, an Earl who has a mother nagging him to get married. His response? He made up a fiancee named Minerva. The only problem is that now his mother, who lives in America, is coming home to visit, and he has no fiancee to show her. Enter Minerva, a poor engraver who he fortuitously bumps into one night when he helps her wrangle a late payment from a customer.  She agrees to pose as his fiancee in exchange for a sum of 40 pounds, and so begins the ruse. 

I was surprised by how much I ended up liking the characters in this book! Minerva is a realist, but also a hopeless romantic. She cares for her two younger sisters, and I loved seeing her caring personality as she is pulled every which way by wanting to help everyone around her. Hugh is a really kind and caring human as well who tries to hide the deeper parts of himself behind the face of a charming rogue. I don't think I would have enjoyed this as much if we had a different MC. His mother and her husband are great side characters, and I loved seeing their interactions with our MCs. Minerva's sisters weren't as engaging for me. They have VERY flat, archetypal characterizations, and I don't know if I care about following their stories in later books. 

The main trope in this one is clearly fake dating, which is probably one of my favorite romance tropes, so I loved that. However, we also got a LARGE dose of miscommunication, which was frustrating. I feel like that piece lasted a smidge too long, and is why this isn't a full 5 stars. I also wish there was a little more spice. We got two kisses and LOTS of longing that made the final sexy times just a little bit disappointing after all the build-up. 

Overall, a fun romance that I read in a day. Great palate cleanser from the big fantasy tomes I usually read.
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"I'm starting to think you might be a lunatic."

Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, has managed to put off his interfering mother with a fake fiancée...for two years!. But now she is demanding to meeting the fictional “Minerva” and Hugh is in a panic. When he meets a real young woman named Minerva, he’s convinced she’s the answer to his prayers and hires the struggling miss to pose as his fiancée. But, alas, nothing about this convoluted plan is going smoothly...

This is my first experience with a Virginia Heath book, and boy was it funny!  Hugh continued to make the situation worse with his outlandish storytelling and I was here for it.  I really liked Minerva, who didn't really want to go along with the farce, but needed the money to support her family.  I felt like her character was well-written and empathetic.  I would have liked a better balance of romance with the hijinks, and wish the fallout had taken place sooner.  Overall, this was a fun, light read...historical meets Hallmark.

Tropes:  Fake Relationship, Class Difference, Forced Proximity
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