Cover Image: An Engagement of Sorts

An Engagement of Sorts

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Member Reviews

I finished this one last week and very much enjoyed it! If you enjoy historical romance, fake dating (courtship) storylines, strong female leads, mysterious and charming male leads, and a bit of intrigue, this one is for you! There are plenty of swoony moments and fun characters. I truly enjoyed it! Thank you to the publisher for the copy in exchange for an honest review!
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I loved Anne's character! Yes there were times when I wanted to stop her or ask her what she was thinking, but I just loved her. I loved her wit. She and Thomas were so fun together. I loved their banter. This book sucked me right in. There were so many levels of villains in this story, but also some wonderful rescuers. I laughed, cried, ached and cheered during this story and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Netgalley, but this is my honest review.
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Wow!! I really enjoyed this book. I could only imagine how it would feel to have to marry someone that you parents have arranged for you! I also enjoyed how Anne was determined to prove herself! I really enjoyed this debut novel by Alene! 
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the copy!
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On to the notes!
- hooks you pretty quickly
- I feel bad for Will. 
- trying to mount the horse 🤣
- Mr Smith is blech
- her mom is a toad
- good dialogue- Anne is quick and spicy
- I really like Atkins
- Mr Paling is a great character, a very quick flirt
- this book is wordy. It's modern English but not entirely? I like it but I've had to look up a lot of the words
-Miss Smith is adorable 
- I kind of love Mr Paling. He's a flirt and a tease but he's one of the very few that treat Anne as more than a nuisance 
- I like Miss Loveland
- invokes a lot of feelings!
- the love letter 😍😭

And then I stopped taking notes because I was too invested to switch screens.
This book was truly adorable and so fun and exciting that it is her debut novel! 👏👏👏 I look forward to reading more of her work!

Thanks for the copy, @covenant_com and @authoralene 
The opinions and rating are all me.
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From the first page, it is obvious that Anne Fletcher is determined. Determined not to marry who her mother wants her to, determined to hunt, ride astride, wear breeches and say what she likes. But when her parents force her to marry, she is again determined that she will marry on her own terms even if it means finding a man willing to masquerade as her fiancé. 
Anne’s determine to avoid marriage to the local vicar finds herself working with Mr Thomas Paling, a man she meets at the first ball in her small town. Their chemistry is evident from the start, yet this is a clean romance, so I thought that this was cleverly done, that is to capture intensity with only intense looks and one or two kisses. Overall, an entertaining read with two quite witty and enjoyable characters.
I am so pleased to find another author to follow. Highly recommended. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Engrossing Regency Madcap

Allow me to begin by setting a scene: A relatively obscure country lady is introduced at an assembly to the season’s eminently eligible gentleman. The gentleman rudely evades the introduction.
If you exclaimed:
'Hey, I've seen this one before!'
You wouldn’t be alone; many a historical romances begin in such a manner and this yarn is no exception. For a second I was satisfied in my assessment that this was one of a plethora of 'Pride & Prejudice' derivative dynamics.
However, I was just as soon thwarted by foolhardy assumption, as to my great surprise, our heroine Miss Anne Fletcher, indignant at the reticence of Colonel Forester, turns away and slams straight into a much, much friendlier, handsomer, and eccentrically attired gentlemen: Mr Thomas Paling.

The absolute embodiment of a 'Dandy,' or to exercise the contemporary sobriquet, 'Metrosexual.'
I highlight this early scene as it is a brilliant microcosm of what you may expect from the story, in that you can’t be sure where it will go. Ms Wecker flips, stretches, and skirts the tenets of your typical regency romance, in a way that is both creative, entertaining, and a dash farcical, while never outright smashing them beyond recognition.

Alright, so back to the this gentleman Anne stumbles into, she can't quite place him, but she is sure they have met before.

When her brothers distressingly forward house guest Mr Smith- who has been harassing & propositioning her- requests her first set, Anne seemingly has two options:
A.) Acquiesce & endure it, so as to be open to dance with others.
B.) Feign indisposition & avoid the trial of his company, but thus lame the rest of her evening.

And now I whooped for she chose the seldom employed 'C' option that I have often wondered why no one attempted in these regency novels: BS your way out of it! That is my modus operandi.

Claiming the dance is taken and quickly scurrying away to secure the alibi- before the odious Mr Smith has a chance to ferret out if another set is available- Anne cleverly resorts to that familiar stranger Mr Paling for assistance and thus begins a most amusing dynamic.

Anne is considered fairly unconventional, for she doesn't have much impulse control and is a fountain of clever quips- both of which often land her in dire straights. Another thing you ought to know about Anne is that she unwittingly garners a lot of interest from the less fair sex.
A Mary Sue-ish quality to be sure, but I'll allow it for all the mayhem it invited.
It proves troublesome when her local rector and childhood friend, Mr Skinner, gets permission from Anne’s parents- without first consulting her- to court her. Seeing him as a brother, not to mention he often exhibits fairly backwards views towards women, she cannot fathom marrying him.

Up that point, Anne had been avoiding a London season like the plague, as she had no desire to finally escape the reins of her domineering mother- who really just has it out for Anne- Only to offer them foolishly to a husband who may abuse them just as well. But now grasping at any life raft to avoid marriage to Will Skinner, she enters a risky gamble with him: If he convinces her mother to grant her a season, and if she doesn't manage to secure an alternative engagement in that time, she must return without any scruples to wed him.

There are many surprises in store, notable stumbling blocks, and antagonists for our protagonists as she navigates the London season.

What Worked:

♡Hilarious witty dialogue & narrative voice; undisputedly MVP of this work.

♡Fast paced & creative plot. The ball just kept rolling, I could not put it down from start to finish.

♡Anne is an active protagonist who endears you.

♡Mr Paling. He is a master of backhanded compliments and an excellent foil for Anne. They have this incredible comedic- oft daring- repartee.

What Irked:
✗The story is most definitely of a more lighthearted, farcical persuasion, so you can expect less emotional highs and lows, and some unlikely characterizations and scenarios.
However, I for one found the tradeoff well worth it as it is very entertaining and never over the top.

The Brass Tacks:
It is so fast paced and amusing once I started I could not tear my eyes away, the dialogue was just hilarious and I thrilled to every line. It is not heavy on setting the stage which affords the action packed plot. I would not call it emotionally complex, but there is growth in evidence for all the characters. Overall a fun ride that I found seamlessly enthralled me and very much recommend.

This is the first novel from Ms Wecker and I will definitely be on alert for her next project.

I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I believe I found the blurb slightly misleading, but not in a bad way. You will see what I mean as the plot unfolds. Anne and Thomas were delightful characters and the way they interact injects a lot of humor into the story. It makes me happy that some of these characters were based on real people as indicated by the author. It adds a bit of genuineness to the story. 

I will admit that I got lost a time or two, but was able to find myself. I will chalk that up to my own exhaustion. Anne is a heroine that knows her heart and is determined not to marry the person her parents chose, in spite of their being "friends" I put that in parentheses because of the way she is treated by him and by her parents. They don't understand her eccentricities and the fact that she does not mold well in society. Her parents had basically written her off and Will talked down to her. I hate it when people treat someone that way. 

I did like the way that Thomas saw her. He was delighted with all the traits that made her who she was and drove everyone else nuts. He saw her for who she was. To me that was the most important and organic thing in their relationships. 

This was a good story and I found the highlight to be the interactions between the main characters. I did not rate this as high as I do many of the things I read. It just didn't fit me as well as I would have liked. It is still a good book and a  worthy read and on that I will recommend it. 

I received a copy of this book through the publisher on NetGalley and this is my honest review.
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Strong debut novel for Alene Wecker!  This is not the typical lighthearted regency. It gave me a Georgette Heyer feel. The main character is unconventional which makes her fun, but she’s also besieged with an uncaring mother and an evil rake.  While Anne’s behavior is more hoydenish than debutant, it’s easy to see why she is the way she is. 

When faced with the prospect of marriage to friend/local vicar Will whom she doesn’t love and who doesn’t appreciate her feisty spirit, she asks to go to London for one last attempt to find a suitor and escape the evil clutches of Mr. Smith.  Before she leaves, she meets the dandyish Thomas Paling. He really sees her and enjoys her banter and spirit. Unfortunately, Anne is immature and fails to recognize her own foibles.  

While I enjoyed the quick dialogue, I was often surprised with Anne’s continual sharp tongue and her focus so much on her lustful feelings. She is young though and the author captured her naïveté perfectly. 

Thomas was the character whom I enjoyed most. Though he appears a dandy, it’s more of a ruse. His teasing was lighthearted and flattering, yet there was true depth to his character that was endearing. Rather than repeat his father’s mistakes, he has sworn not to marry or love anyone. Meeting Anne changes this and he fights against his feelings for her. He offers Anne a fake engagement to save her reputation and rescue her from the dastardly Mr. Smith who shows up in London to torment her again.  

There were several twists and turns that kept me turning the pages. Though Anne doesn’t grow much as a character, I did like the ending and the way she stands up for herself. One of the saddest  aspects of the story is that Anne had no real allies except Thomas. Her parents and sister are abominable. They are condescending and belittling. While I loved Thomas, I would have liked to see even more growth in his relationship with Anne. My favorite part though was the letter that Anne was supposed to write to her friend Will but instead doesn’t address it to anyone and means it for Thomas.  

Ms. Wecker’s writing is quick witted, intelligent and promising. I look forward to seeing more from her. I gave it a solid 3.5 stars. While I would consider this a clean romance, there are some disturbing situations that might upset some readers.  There is an attempted sexual assault scene though not graphic. There are brief but not graphic mentions of infidelity, mistresses common at the time, and mild sexual innuendo. Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and Covenant Communications for providing a copy of this e-book.  All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.
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A good debut novel from Alene Wecker. I thought it was a creative story, that held my interest throughout. Thomas is a wonderful character, but I thought Anna was quite childish. I would have loved to see her character grow. The other characters were either childish or boorish. Some stronger character development would improve this book. That being said I still enjoyed this story. It was interesting to read about the fact or fiction of the book. There are some sensitive subjects that might effect some readers. I’m excited to read a new author and to see the growth in her future projects. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of An Engagement of Sorts.
This book was definitely more plot driven than character driven. There were some clever twists and turns in the plot and from 60% until the end my curiosity did not abate. Also, the banter between the two main characters was very entertaining and the kisses were swoony. I liked how the author broke away from the typical Regency ingenues with her main character. Additionally, I am always happy to have the male love interest be a dandy with a heart of gold and depth beneath his shiny veneer. Alene Wecker promises to be an author to watch with this debut! I am interested in follow-up stories about many of the side characters!

I am a reader who appreciates content warnings, so I will include one here.
Content Warning: this book has an attempted rape scene.

Some things that I struggled with in this book:
*lack of character development/growth: main character is silly the whole book through and while I loved the message of not changing for others, people should still grow up a bit.
*distracting word choices: lofty words that felt abrupt and didn't quite fit (I don't have an amazing vocabulary myself so you don't have to take my word (no pun intended) for it!)
*too many unlikeable characters (Every story needs a couple of characters to hate, but in this book everyone was so mean to the MC.)
*focus on lust and ogling 
*modern feel (didn't feel like a Regency novel)
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I didn’t really know what to expect going into this debut regency romance novel, but I really enjoyed the fake relationship trope at play in it!

Anne and Thomas’ relationship was fun and filled with lots of banter that kept me entertained and intrigued by their relationship! However, there were a lot of heavier topics/content in this novel (trigger warning below) that made it hard for me to keep reading at times. I also wished that Anne had grown a little bit more throughout the novel, but also loved that she is always authentically herself. I absolutely loved the love letters — so swoony!

Overall, I think Alene Wecker wrote a good debut novel and I really enjoyed her writing style. 

Trigger warning: attempted rape and mentions of rape/sexual assault

Thank you to NetGalley and Covenant for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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For me, An Engagement of Sorts is a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars. In her debut novel, Alene Wecker brings together a unique set of challenges and twists in this regency. Anne, the protagonist, is on the young side and it shows in her behavior. I had a hard time connecting with the supporting characters; however, I adored the love interest, Thomas Paling. Thomas is the right combination of proper and mischievous to help steady Anne and help her grow into herself. I enjoyed him so much that I would have loved to read his perspective. 

*Thank you to the author and publisher for a copy of this novel. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I think that this debut author has potential and hope to see more from her.  The writing style flowed and felt a lot of detail to events and feelings were shown.  
I did struggle to read this book.  It bothered me how much Anne was put down, how she was talked to by Mr. Smith and how crude the talk about bedding was.  Respect was given to no one by really anyone in the book.  Mr. Paling was the only person who valued Anne,  encouraged her and seemed to truly want to be a better person because of her.  When I would put the book down it wasn't a fun, encouraging read, but more of a discouragement.  
If others don't mind a heavy read then most of the things that I didn't like won't be that big of deal to others.
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Got interested with this book because of the beautiful cover and was looking for a light book to read. Unfortunately, I find it not so light because of the underlying issues the author wants to address. And it seems like in order for it to be still a fun read, the issues were addressed lightly. Though, I tried to be forgiving since it’s a debut novel, it’s still unsatisfactory because of it’s modern portayal, innuendos and the lack of character development. 
Overall, if you just want something to read without looking for the nitty gritty of the story, then maybe this book is for you.
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This book grabbed my attention from the start. I was intrigued how the author would turn the hero from a rake into a hero, as he seemed quite rakish at the beginning, and I wasn't even sure he was who the hero was going to end up being! He quickly became a character I liked. Anne has a wild streak her family is trying to tame into submission but she remains true to herself. 
Trigger warning: attempted sexual assault. This plays a role throughout the book.
Clean romance
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I received this book as an ARC and really enjoyed it! Read it in one sitting; it made me laugh aloud a few times. I like Mr. Paling immensely, and overall enjoyed Anne, though at times she was a mite much. That aspect was in line with the character and the story's tone though, so it was not a distraction. 
I especially liked the author's faithfulness to the regency era in the novel; the influences of Austen and Heyer colour the story in terms of overall setting and tone, but it is still unique unto itself.
4.5/5 stars and recommended!
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This is a wonderful book that was a fast read for me. It was a delightful story that hooked me on the first page. I loved reading Thomas and Anne's story and can't wait to see what this author writes next. Alene Wecker did an excellent job with this book and I highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy from Covenant Communications via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Very cute story! This book was easy to read and had some funny parts. 
The author did a great job with the main characters, they were developed well. The side characters weren’t as well developed which I liked- I can’t stand a book with tons of information that isn’t relevant to the plot. 

I loved how the romance in this book was realistic and believable- that’s refreshing in a regency romance. 
I can’t believe this is a debut novel for this author. I hope she will write plenty more because I can’t wait to read them.
My sister just had surgery and in order to pass the time she would read. I told her this book would be one she liked. She started it and a few short hours later she finished it- she said it helped her escape the pain and the boredom.
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Although Wecker has talent, An Engagement of Sorts wasn’t my favorite story.  I liked that the characters were based on the author’s own relatives of the era, and as I said, Wecker has a good voice.  I simply couldn’t get into the actual story.  2.5/5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This book was such an unexpected treat. I absolutely adored this story. Anne and Thomas were delightful together. They have one of the best meet-cutes!!! Even though we only have Anne’s POV, you could feel Thomas’s emotions and love shining through the story telling. This book was sweet agony and I never wanted it to end. Looking forward to more from this author.
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