Cover Image: The Trouble with Inventing a Viscount

The Trouble with Inventing a Viscount

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Member Reviews

As always, I love Vivienne Lorret. This is the second book in the series and is about Honoria and Oscar. Honoria is beautiful and she knows it, but also an expert at disguising herself. The first time she meets Oscar she is in the middle of some shenanigans but instead of never seeing the man again, imagine her surprise when he shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her long lost fiance (who isn't actually real, but was made so she could avoid getting married!).

I will say, about half way through I did guess the plot twist, so it did feel a little predictable. But I also feel like predictability is one of the reasons we love historical romance-- and romance in general!

Tropes:
-Disdain to lovers
-(Reluctant) fake engagement
-Rake MMC

CW: sibling death (in the past)

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC.

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I loved Remington Steele and the Importance of being Earnest as a child (because I a a charming mix of weird and wonderful) and this book has it all. Honorio has to have a betrothed or she’s going back on the marriage market. And she is far too clever and independent to ever want to get married. Oscar is a gambler and on man that she won a lot of money from when she was pretending to be a man. He saw through the deception and she told him about her made up fiancé (because soooo much attraction). So the Remington Steele fans will not be surprised when he shows up telling everyone he is the Viscount she made up. The Importance of Being Earnest side? If you know you know. The book is hot, filled with banter and adventure. I liked it. I received an ARC

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Vivienne Lorret remains delightful and I will continue to seek out her books!

Thanks to the publisher for the eARC in exchange for my review.

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I liked this book and my outward facing review says why (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6496198506). I tagged this one as: would-read-again.

Review on the writing:
Brilliantly done slow burn.
I love when an author makes you feel "just kiss already!"
I think it was clever how the author used Honoria's beauty and some characters' response to it as a tool in the story.

Copyedit notes:
- Pg 167: "that" is repeated
- Pg 290, paragraph 3, last sentence: 1st word needs sentence case (1st "her" should be "Her")
- Pg 310, last paragraph: "rolls" should be "roles"

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Thank you Netgalley and Avon for approving my request! I love Vivienne Lorret historical romances and this book was an incredibly fun read! Read this book if you’re after carriage shenanigans, disguises galore, and bickering banter.

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This is the second book in the Liars’ Club and the story of Honoria Hartley and Oscar Flint. Honoria is an expert makeup artist, which comes in handy in her thespian family who is always putting performances on their family stage. Honoria was somewhat betrothed by her grandmother in a letter to Viscount Vandemere, who has been missing for years and presumed dead. However, Honoria uses it as an excuse to avoid other marriage proposals and pursue her path to freedom as a single woman. Unfortunately, her penchant for gambling gets her into some trouble in Paris as she wins the money Oscar needs to pay off his debts. He hears about her Vandemere scheme and shows up at her doorstep as the long-lost Viscount Vandemere. She knows he’s lying and is a con artist, but they both play along because he needs the money and she needs her secrets kept. He does move into “his” house which is filled with Vandemere relatives sponging off the estate. They are pretty sure he is lying, but there are some family secrets and no one can be totally sure. Oscar is in his own way an honest thief. He steals money out of necessity and only from the wealthy who have wronged others. There are lots of funny scenes. Honoria and Oscar are always trying to one-up each other and from that their attraction starts to grow. This is definitely a zany, quirky book that is just a lot of fun to read. There are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. I really like that Honoria has a huge family that is all up in her business and Oscar has been on his own for a while now. This book is a bit of a slow burn, but there are sparks and when they finally act on their feelings it gets steamy. Honoria has met her match and it makes for a delightful read. Put this book on your TBR and get ready for its release on September 24, 2024. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC.

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CW: death of a child (off page, in the past)

The Trouble with Inventing a Viscount was loads of fun! I've read most of Vivienne Lorret's recent titles, and she doesn't disappoint. It's been a while since I read the first book in the series, but Lorret did a great job of slowly catching you up in the book so that by about 1/4 of the way in, you know all the relevant information.

In many ways, Oscar is an asshole. He is a liar and a cheat and puts Honoria in a perilous situation. But what makes him charming is how he can't help but do good and be kind no matter how hard he tries. In many ways he associates kindness with weakness, and it takes realizing his feelings for Honoria to realize that perhaps he doesn't have to resist the urge. Honoria is a delight. For the most part, she isn't afraid to give as good as she gets when it comes to Oscar. She knows he's lying his ass off, but can't do anything about it.

I found the resolution did a good job of threading the needle between too perfect and realistic. Our characters found their HEA without falling into some romance stereotypes. I can't wait to read what Vivienne Lorret has next!

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Honoria secretly created a scam betrothal agreement with a ‘long lost’ viscount. She doesn’t want to ever get married. But she does need some cash for her future. Her thespian family are not rich and she wants to ensure that she’s not forced into a real betrothal. So off she goes, disguised as a Spanish man, and beats a con man, Oscar, at his own card game (read: cheats better). When he confronts her he realizes she is actually an English lady but before he can steal the prize money back from her, she gets away. She’s home safe and sound when Oscar appears at her door claiming to be the long lost imaginary viscount.

Everyone is playing a role, from her thespian family to Oscar to Honoria. Honoria can’t out Oscar or she’ll be revealed as having made up the betrothal. Oscar can’t out Honoria because he needs the leverage to blackmail her to get that prize money.

It is good reading: watching the lies intertwine as the con game turns on both con artists. An interesting path to love. Honoria is so wonderfully fierce and her family is just a blast. Bold and intense, Oscar’s backstory is poignant. You just want him to triumph- if it weren’t Honoria he’d be triumphing over. There’s lots of humor and sexy times for all of us. In any event, getting to the HEA is a fun trip.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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The Trouble with Inventing a Viscount is a wild ride.

Honoria Hartley is a debutante with two secrets. She's an expert makeup artist who likes to change her appearance and have adventures. Also, she's sort of invented a viscount. She was betrothed at birth to someone who would now be a viscount, except that no one knows what happened to him and he's presumed to be missing or dead. She claims to have been in contact with him for years and has created a fictional fiance to avoid other romantic entanglements.

Oscar Finch is a gambler and grifter. He desperately needs money to repay a debt, and he's expecting to win it at cards one night in Paris. Instead, Honoria, disguised as a man, ends up winning the 2000 pounds he needs. Realizing that his fellow gambler is a woman, Oliver tries to get the money from her. He's unsuccessful, but the pair share a searing kiss. A year later, Oscar shows up at Honoria's family's estate claiming to be the actual Viscount Vandermere. He's there for his money, and Honoria can't reveal that he's not the viscount without revealing her deception.

This book was a lot of fun. It's got a fun romance with great chemistry. They're fighting their attraction of course, and often working at cross purposes, but they're a lot of fun. The plot is pretty zany. In addition to showing up at Honoria's door, Oscar also goes to the Vandermere estate to claim his place (it's a temporary claim, but he needs a place to live), and the remaining family members are not exactly thrilled to see him and come up with some hilarious plans to get rid of him.

If you like a fast-paced story with a humor, chemistry, and steam, this one is definitely for you.

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✨When he falls first and spends the rest of the book convincing her that she can love him and that he’ll be good for her but he doesn’t want to scare her off so he’s gotta go slow>>>✨

It was perfect. One of my favorite histrom ARCs I’ve read so far this year! It was an easy ten out of ten, scoring full marks in the dramatic and sexy and FUN departments. What a romp. I loved the drama of her knowing he was faking as the viscount (and that it wasn’t some big secret he was keeping from her) but not being able to tell anyone without incriminating herself. Both him and I were having a very giggly time over that!!

The ending was just what the book needed and even kept me guessing with some red herrings and such. I was just like PLEASE let this adorable simp keep the family he’s always wanted but never had!!! Also her family was so much fun. I was thrilled to see Verity and Magnus (and Lord Turgid and Lady Content) again! Ugh, I love them all.

I read this at the same time as I was listening to Loretta Chase audiobooks and I kept getting them confused because the writing/witty vibes felt very similar—which I feel is a pretty big nod! I’ve really enjoyed Lorret’s last few books, and definitely need to commit to reading her backlist. She has such a wonderful voice.

I think you could totally read this is a standalone if you’re desperate, but the Verity and Magnus side plot would make more sense if you read book one first. Plus it’s fantastic as well, so why not??

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 🌶️🌶️.75/5


CWs: Loss of a sibling (in the past; recounted), grief, drowning


I received an eARC from the publisher. All opinions are honest and my own.

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"The Trouble with Inventing a Viscount" by Vivienne Lorret captivates from the very first chapter, leaving readers breathless with its charm and wit. As a devoted fan of Lorret's work, I was eagerly anticipating this novel, and once again, Lorret exceeded all expectations.

Honoria Hartley, our beguiling protagonist, possesses a beauty that ensnares men like hapless puppies, yet when Viscount Vandemere (Oscar Flint) enters her life, the tables turn, setting off a chain of events that upend her world. What truly enamored me was Honoria's resilience and strength, as she valiantly battles to safeguard her family and her own heart.

The narrative unfolds with delightful twists and turns, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page. Lorret's prose is as elegant as ever, seamlessly weaving together romance, intrigue, and humor in a tapestry of storytelling brilliance.

While "The Trouble with Inventing a Viscount" is a standalone triumph, I couldn't help but yearn for more, perhaps an epilogue to further delve into Honoria's world. Nevertheless, this novel is an absolute must-read. I urge everyone to secure a copy upon its release, for in the enchanting realm of Vivienne Lorret, disappointment is a foreign concept.

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The leads of this book were very charming. Their banter made this second installment of The Liar’s club series a fun read. I loved the chaotic fearlessness of Honoria— she’s among my favorite Vivienne Lorret heroines.

I wasn’t as excited by the external conflict. All of the machinations of the main villain and the side characters were difficult to follow and ultimately didnt seem tied together in the first read. It made the pacing feel off. That said, Vivienne Lorret wrote all of the Hartley family and the main characters to be so enjoyable to read that I’d be excited to revisit them again in future books.

Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for the ARC.

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This is one of my first books by this author so her style was new to me. The story is well written & well paced. From the cover I expected a little bit different tone, the story actually skews more into the rom-com style, quite light and fluffy. I think fans of that style will enjoy this one. I tend to prefer a bit more angst but that’s just preference, the quality of the writing is good.

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As always, I was so excited to get an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.

A regency romance always has to be taken for what it is, a light and fluffy read. There were parts of this book I could not put down, and parts that I feel like got too convoluted for the plot. Overall, the writing itself is really well done, and the romance is very intriguing. I just wish some of the elements that made the read a little busy got left out.

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Honoria is a schemer. Oscar is a thief and a gambler. She is living behind a wall of pain and guilt, he is living a life in limbo, not sure who he is. This story is very entertaining and the banter(my favorite ) is exceptionally funny. I did feel that the story dragged a bit in the middle, but overall a good story. I would have loved to have seen the scene with the conflicting Vandemeres instead of just reading about it. I think that would have been better than just being told. The aunts were rather funny in their way and Honoria’s parents are a hoot. The moral of the story was heart wrenching: grief not grieved prevents a life not lived. Good story all around.

I received the book for free and these are my own opinions

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Not my favorite. Everyone has their tropes and character traits they enjoy in a historical romance novel and this one did not have mine.

It was just “too much” for a not great description. Honoria has been pretend writing to her Bethrothed for years to stay off the marriage mart. No one has seen him but her letters keep him alive. Enter Oscar, a con man she previously encountered pretending to be the missing viscount.

It’s not to say the plot isn’t written well or the characters don’t come to life, they do, but it’s just not my personal favorite to read about.

Thank you NetGalley and Avon Harpenger for the book.

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Oscar Flint is a proficient gambler. He secretly searches for the father who had abandoned him and his mother. Oscar joins a high-staked game only to lose to a mysterious woman marauding as a man. He remembers the story the vixen told him about a long-lost viscount, and he decides to play the part. Now Oscar must deal with three hostile aunts, an ailing grandmother, and the lovely woman who bested him at cards. Does Dunnelocke Abbey hold a clue to Oscar’s ancestry?
Miss Honoria Hartley is the second daughter of a baron. She uses her betrothal to keep determined suitors at bay. Honoria intends to live her life freely without a husband. She encounters Oscar one night in Paris after trouncing him in a card game. The blasted man comes to her hamlet and assumes the identity of her long-lost betrothed. Can Honoria outwit Oscar at his own game? Or will she unwittingly lose her heart to handsome gambler? And what about her betrothal to Vandemere?
Oscar could be labeled as an ‘honest thief’. I admire how he never went against his principals. Oscar only stole from those who deserve it (aristocrats or merchants who mistreat others, etc). His gambling and thievery were for survival, not greed. I like how his childhood did not turn him into a heartless monster. Oscar still maintained a sense of humanity.
Honoria is a fun character. I like that she is not vain or stuck on herself. Honoria knows that she is beautiful. She uses it and her other assets in a good way. I love her interactions with Oscar. He never once treated her like other men did. Honoria found that she could be herself around him.
THE TROUBLE WITH INVENTING A VISCOUNT is the second book in Vivienne Lorret’s historical romance series, THE LIAR’S CLUB. This is my second foray with this author’s works. I enjoyed the first book immensely. It made me anticipate the next installment! Boy, oh boy, did this story meet my expectations. I love the Hartley family’s eccentricity. They are not your average regency-era aristocratic family. Magnus and Verity do make an appearance in the story. I like how not all their problems were solved in the prior book.
I wonder which Hartley is next. Truman? Or Thea? And what type of person they will be paired with. I still hope (crossing my fingers here) that Ms Lorret will consider writing a book for Rowan and Anna.

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Vibes: cat and mouse, con artistry, heroine stomping her foot and going "ERRRGH" while the hero smirks

Heat Index: 6/10

Honoria Hartley doesn't want to marry--and that doesn't seem to be an issue, as she's been betrothed since childhood to the long-lost Viscount Vandemere. The last thing she expects is Vandemere showing up on her dootstep; and it's much worse than that. The man claiming to be the viscount is Oscar Flint, a con artist Honoria had a run-in with a year before (she probably shouldn't have told him about the missing viscount). She's determined to avoid marrying him--he's determined to pull off a con with his life on the line. Now, if they can only stop kissing...

One of the best things about Vivienne Lorret is her sense of humor as a writer, and this book is a perfect example of that. From the very beginning, you have this snarky interplay between the truly bratty (in the best way) and headstrong Honoria and the very smarmy yet very charming Oscar. It feels kind of like a screwball comedy, with the two of them--especially Honoria--going to increasingly ridiculous lengths to one-up each other. I'm talking like... disguises. Eyepatches. Honoria comes from a theatrical family, and Lorret takes full advantage of that.

It is a little cluttered at points, if I'm being honest--we have not only Honoria and Oscar falling in love and digging at each other, but an entire family attempting to get rid of Oscar. However, there's such a charming chemistry between the two of them--and so many hilarious moments--I could forgive a little plot lagging here and there. I wouldn't call this enemies to lovers, but it's definitely rivals to lovers, and if you're down with that... this is for you.

Quick Takes:

--I'm so used to romance novels starring plain heroines or heroines who are pretty and just don't realize it... Honoria is super pretty and very much realizes it. Oscar first meets her in total disguise (Honoria loves a disguise) and his dismay at realizing that she is in fact, just as pretty as she claimed to be, is excellent content. If only she wasn't hot!

Genuinely, the characterization of Oscar and Honoria is the best part of the book. They're both kind of disasters, and they act absolutely ridiculous over each other. It's just a lot of fun.

--At the same time, the stakes are fairly high. Lorret balances that tone with her turn of phrase, but she doesn't totally abandon the touches of darkness the plot necessitates. I mean, there is very much an executioner's bland hanging over Oscar's neck for a lot of this book. But he's so wry and clever that you don't always remember that. It's not a bad thing--the opposite, actually.

--It's honestly kind of nice to see a plot that's really zany, even if I think the pacing between the lovers could've been a bit faster. This reminds me a little of older historicals. You definitely feel the big swings coming, and I appreciate that.

--I love the Hartley family. So fun to read a historical in which the parents are into each other and the mom in particular is such a romantic. A romantic who wants her daughter to realize how important it is to get yours!

--I can't get into one thread that I was excited about... which turn out to not be that. It did make me wish that we saw more historical heroines who aren't particularly into the idea of having babies.

The Sex:

There are about 3.5-ish sex scenes, two of which sort of run into each other. They're all well-done and hot, though I think we definitely could've gotten a little more creative. But in my opinion, the hottest scene of the book is actually a RIDICULOUS picnic that has some of the most insane erotic eating content I've ever read. I was laughing, but at the same it was like... YES?

A con artist romcom is always fun, and this is no exception. Pick it up when you're in the mood for a romp, especially if you like the idea of heroines just! Not! Wanting! To admit! They're into someone!

Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for providing me with a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my won.

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I've been loving this series from Vivienne Lorret. After reading and loving the first book in the series I was so excited to read this one. This book focuses on Honoria and the viscount she made up as he betrothed and what happens when said viscount shows up on her doorstep. This book was a lot of fun and Honoria and Oscar have so much chemistry and are so well matched. They're both very sneaky and determined to get what they want and that puts them at odds at first but once they are on the same side, their chemistry is off the charts! I really loved the relationship between these two and their push and pull was so great.
One criticism I have is that the plot with the viscount being fake or not fake was a little convoluted. It took me several chapters to unravel what was going on and even after I did it all just seemed overly complicated for no reason at all except that Lorret wanted a very specific ending for the hero. (i'll not say what because: spoilers) I know that particular trope is a staple of the genre but I almost wish she hadn't done it. It overcomplicated the plot and I think Honoria and Oscar as characters would have been just fine without this development.

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After reading (and loving ❤️) the first book in this series, It Had to Be a Duke, I knew the second I saw this title and cover that I wanted to read it. After reading the synopsis, I was sold. After being fortunate enough to read an early copy of this, I started it immediately and was pulled right in.

Reading thoughts -
*This second book in the series is making me wish for a book about Roxana and Con’s story 😍
*The slow burn is manageable but nice
*I was enjoying my reading time with this - the longing that peeked through during the falling (on chap 22 (62%) currently and there’ve been some kisses and innuendo laden remarks - feelings are really simmering
*the Hartley family ❤️

I officially enjoyed this - The Trouble with Inventing a Viscount was a very fun read of a series I recommend - great escapist romance.



Thank you to Avon and NetGalley for the DRC

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