"Filled with fabulously British banter, wit, and heart, this delightful book is one of my must-read rom coms of the year." - Evie Dunmore, USA Today bestselling author of Portrait of a Scotsman
“Virginia Heath’s fun characters and situations will have you laughing out loud! Don’t miss this wonderful read!” - Sabrina Jeffries, New York Times bestselling author
The first in a new historical rom-com series, a handsome earl hires a fake fiancée to keep his matchmaking mother at bay, but hilarity ensues when love threatens to complicate everything.
The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, ever wants is a wife. Unfortunately for him, his mother is determined to find him one, even from across the other side of the ocean. So Hugh invents a fake fiancée to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay. But when Hugh learns his interfering mother is on a ship bound for England, he realizes his complicated, convoluted but convenient ruse is about to implode. Until he collides with a beautiful woman, who might just be the miracle he needs.
Minerva Merriwell has had to struggle to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since their feckless father abandoned them. Work as a woodcut engraver is few and far between, and the Merriwell sisters are nearly penniless. So when Hugh asks Minerva to pose as his fiancée while his mother is visiting, she knows that while the scheme sounds ludicrous, the offer is too good to pass up.
Once Minerva and her sisters arrive at Hugh's estate, of course nothing goes according to his meticulous plan. As hilarity and miscommunication ensue while everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight, Hugh and Minerva’s fake engagement starts to turn into a real romance. But can they trust each other when their relationship started with a lie? The first book in the Merriwell Sisters series, Never Fall for Your Fiancée is a hilarious, sparkling historical romantic comedy from Virginia Heath.
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Never Fall for Your Fiancée is a romance novel set in the early 1800s that follows the schemes of Hugh Standish - Earl of Fareham - and Minerva Merriwell - a woodcut engraver with only a penny to her name - as they pretend to be engaged while Hughs mother arrives in town to visit him and his "Fiancée". I found the setting of this book in the 19th century to be so interesting and in my opinion, it made the book so much more fun to read. I thought the plot was interesting and the characters were fun and really made the book witty and exciting. I sometimes find it hard to really get into books without getting distracted, however, this book was a light, fun, romantic read that was super easy to get into and I was super sad to finish. [possible spoiler?] I do wish we got a little more confrontation at the end of the book between everyone and how they reacted to finding out the truth, but I do see this book might be a part of a series (which I really hope it is) so I hope int he next book we get to see a little more of that. Overall, I adored this book and cannot wait to see what happens next with Minerva and Hugh.
Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, just received a letter from his mom in America saying she was boarding a ship and would be there by Christmas. She would be there in about two weeks. He was panicking. He told her he had a fiancée but he didn't. He was just tired of her trying to play match maker. He was in London and happened to pass this girl, she was beautiful. She was trying to get this man to pay her for her work, but he didn't want to. So Hugh stepped in and helped her. Then he suggested she play his fiancée while his mother was here.. Minerva Merriwell is very poor, she takes care of her two sisters, they had been abandon by their father and hadn't seen him in five years. When she gets an offer from Hugh to help him and he would give them twenty pounds. They could live on that for a while. But she didn't feel right so she started to turn her down and he offered her forty pounds. She could not resist and took it. An excellent story that goes thru a spectrum of emotions from laughing out loud to feeling guilty, to outright crying in this praise worthy story. He does not feel worthy of her and blames it on his standish blood because of his father and grandfather. He has nothing but good things to say about her including she was perfect. The characters interacted so well with each other. They were believable and so nice. This gets complicated and just getting worse. The author does a wonderful job of keeping it all straight and gets it explained. I can't wait till the next one. I received this ARC from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.
Hugh Standish, the Earl of Fareham, has a reputation of being a rake. He has no intentions of getting married but his mother insists that he find love and marry. To ward off her matchmaking and meddling, he lied to her by telling her he is engaged. When she announces that she is coming to visit him with the purpose of helping him prepare for the wedding, he hires a woman he meets on the street to pretend to be his fiancé. Minerva only agrees to the farce because she is in dire need of the money he is offering. Minerva and her two younger sisters arrive to Hugh's estate and they begin to roll out a crazy and impossible plan to dupe Hugh's mother. Only they end up duping themselves into thinking that they wouldn't fall for one another in the process. I haven't read many historical rom-coms and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one! The complicated back story that Hugh had created to make his mother believe he was engaged was entertaining and inventive. I loved the complicated scheming and planning that they had to go through to make their story come to life in front of the mother. The characters in this story really captured my heart. Hugh is charming, mischievous, and he doesn't believe he deserves love. Although he denies a desire for love, the fact that he doesn't believe he deserves love makes him a romantic in my eyes. Minerva is selfless and eager to please and she is the perfect person to fill the role that Hugh needs. Their chemistry together was titillating and I loved their little moments of stolen glances and intimacy. The ensemble of supporting characters in this novel was very fun and their antics had me laughing out loud. They played off each other and egged each other on in ways only loving family members could. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the next book has in store for them. This is my first Virginia Heath novel and I really like her writing style. The dialogue in this book is exceptional! Heath did a fantastic job of turning a kind of unbelieving premise into a tenable and entertaining story of two people finding love when they least expect it. Steam level: 🔥🔥½ ⚠️: grief, abandonment
From the first paragraph, I knew this book would be a good one. I immersed myself into the book from the first chapter and I cannot say enough good things about this book! Honestly amazing! The writing is incredible and the plot is just one to die for. I am absolutely obsessed with this book. My favorite part would have to be the character development throughout the book. Character development is something I look forward to and this book did not disappoint.
Excellent! I love books with fake engagement premises and this one was particularly exciting to read. I loved how tough and witty Minerva is and Hugh is such a charming gentleman! The storyline is pretty straightforward: Hugh lies to his mother, Olive, about having a fiancé (named Minerva) so she will stop bothering him about getting married. However, Olive is on the way to meet this mysterious fiancé and Hugh needs to find one quick. Enter Minerva (and her two sisters). I loved the chemistry and the connection between the two main characters. I've never read a historical romance with a fake engagement premise, but this one was very well done. It was a fun read and I absolutely loved the cover! I'm a huge fan of cartoon covers and this one is adorable! Looking forward to the next books in the series!!
Fake engagement trope.... loved this story! Our hero, Hugh, makes up a fake wife to get his match-making Mom, who is living in America with her dreamy hubby, off his back. All is going great as he invents one thing after another to put off the wedding. Unfortunately, Mom's curiosity gets too much for her to bear, and she hops on a ship to meet her future DIL. She brings her hubby along and just wants her son to be as happy as she is. Poor Hugh. He needs a stand-in immediately and finds her. Our heroine is Minerva (who happens to have the name of the fake fiancee), and Hugh rescues her. Then he takes a good look at her, and thinks his problem is solved. Ah Hugh--his problems are just beginning. He just took the first steps to falling in love and getting married after all. We know it. Fate has decided it. It's a fun ride to the inevitable, happy conclusion!
This book was like a bag of chips: light, airy, and a treat to read. Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, does not want a wife. But as his mother is determined to see him wed, even from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean—he has maintained the lie of Minerva, his perfect fiancée, for several years. When he learns that she is on her way for a visit, however, he’s stuck—and hires the first Minerva he encounters. Minerva Merriwell has been struggling to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since her father abandoned them years ago. She has her own scars and no time for love. But when the Earl of Fareham offers her money to pose as his fiancée for a few days in the British countryside, the deal is just too good to pass up. What follows is a romantic comedy where nothing goes right, and yet somehow it all does in the end. The book takes place among the fun-loving British aristocracy of the spillover from the end of the Regency era. I felt that there was too much being hung up on silly things and old fears that they don’t communicate (but easily could have), but then without those ridiculous reasons there would be no “rom com” genre. The characters do deepen as the plot progresses. While no one seems to speak in a manner that would be authentic to the period, the details do seem realistic- clothes, customs, houses, etc. In the end, there are enough misunderstandings and bad timings to be worthy of the genre, and it is fully enjoyable and readable!
This was a super fun romance read and I'm looking forward to the rest of the Merriwell Sisters series! After reading Bridgerton a few months ago, I wanted to read another Regency era romance and the fact that this one has a fake engagement added to my interest. Hugh Standish is an earl, with one problem, his matchmaking mother desperate to see him down the aisle. To appease his mother, Hugh invented a fake fiancee, Minerva and made her the ideal woman. The tales were spun with his mother a safe Atlantic Ocean away, until she set sail for England unexpectedly and Hugh had mere weeks to either fess up to his mother, or happen upon a real Minerva who could pretend to be his Minerva. Minerva has been struggling to keep herself and her sisters afloat, so she accepts Hugh's ludicrous offer because she needs the money and she can't help herself from being intrigued by Hugh. Minerva and her two sisters, Diana and Vee, join Hugh at his estate. Diana is sharp-tongued and full of opinions, whereas Vee is sensitive and struggles with change. I really enjoyed the build of the relationship between Hugh and Minerva and the dialogue between the two! I loved the biting humor from Hugh's servant, Payne. The humor really added to the budding romance and made this book standout from other romances. This was a great lighthearted read and fun rom com! I am looking forward to the sequel and hoping it's a love story of Diana and Giles! Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin's Press/St Martin's Griffin for providing me a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
This was the perfect regency romance and I loved every minute of it. A cute read with a wonderful cast of characters.
Hugh, Lord Fareham’s mother is on the way from America to meet his fiancée. Only Hugh has made up a fictitious one named Minerva. Our Minerva is struggling to make ends meet, pay the rent and feed herself and her two sisters. Hugh meets Minerva in the street and offers her 40 pounds to play his fiancée. Considering a few shillings will pay their rent and put a small amount of food on the table 40 pounds is a fortune. She can’t turn it down. The hijinks begin as, predictably, Minerva and Hugh begin to fall for one another. This is a wonderful romp that involves an alcoholic Drury Lane actress playing Minerva’s mother, the quintessential English butler, a belligerent sister and an adolescent and belligerent other sister. Minerva has been praised for her singing voice - she is tone deaf, for her grace in dancing- she has two left feet, and skill as a horsewoman- she is deathly afraid of horses. It is that rare thing: a farce that works and makes you laugh out loud. I would recommend this book to my patrons.
Wow! This book is INCREDIBLE! It is romantic, witty, fun, heartfelt, pulls at your heart strings, quite steamy at times, and so much more! Whenever I picked up "Never Fall for Your Fiancée", I was whisked back in time, and went on such an incredible journey with this story! This is the first book in Virginia Heath's new "The Merriwell Sisters" series, and I can't wait for the next books! Ms. Heath's writing style is simply amazing! It is visceral, vivid, engaging, and I could envision each and every moment throughout the book. Her characters all feel like such incredibly real people, and, as the reader, I really feel like I got to know all of them. Each interaction felt authentic to who they are as people, and I was hooked from the very first page. Hugh is a caring and witty man who often puts up a front which presents as selfish as only concerned with what is good for him. Sometimes his actions match this front, however, he truly is a good person. He also believes that he does not want to ever marry, for extremely personal reasons. He fears he will follow the same path he thinks his grandfather and father did, will not be able to stay faithful, and will end up hurting the woman who becomes his wife. Hugh's mother is constantly trying to play matchmaker, and Hugh has invented a fiancé in order to make her stop. The last thing he expects is for her to come visit with short notice, and Hugh is caught in his own lies. When he happens to meet a girl named Minerva (the same name he gave his fake fiancé), he comes up with a plan for his mother's visit. Never could he have imagined how this meeting will change his life, and, perhaps, even point him in the direction of what he really wants in life. Can a web of lies, and pretend love, lead to actual love? Will Hugh admit his true feelings to himself before it is too late? Minerva is such a sweet, caring, intelligent, mature, and witty woman, as well as a talented artist. She has raised her two younger sisters ever since the death of their mother, and their father abandoning them. Having been hurt in the past, she understandably is very careful with who she does and does not trust. One day, when Minerva asks for payment she is owed from an employer who refuses to give it to her, Hugh steps in and demands the man pay Minerva. Soon, Hugh tells Minerva of his plan, and asks her to play his fiancé throughout his mother's visit. Minerva and her sisters really need the money in order to survive, and though she has her doubts, she agrees. Never could Minerva have imagined how this decision will change their lives forever, and perhaps lead her to true love. Will she admit to herself her true feelings for Hugh? (Possible Spoilers!) Oh I love Minerva and Hugh together! The two of them truly balance one another out beautifully, and bring out the best in each other. They challenge each other, and respect and care for one other. Both of them have their own fears and doubts, and, together, they are able to work past them, though it is not always easy. Their chemistry grows and grows, and, just, simply...WOW! You truly pull for them! I so wish there was an epilogue in this book! I do not know if one will be included in the final version of the book or not, but, regardless, I so, so hope we see Minerva and Hugh in future books in this amazing series! If you enjoy historical romance, I HIGHLY recommend this book! It kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next, and I absolutely did not want to put this book down! I found myself reading into the very early hours of the morning. I am eagerly awaiting the next books! Thank you so much to St. Martin's Griffin and NetGalley for the ARC of this book, and to St. Martin's Press for sending me a physical ARC as well, it is incredible! All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I was delightfully surprised with how much I enjoyed this novel! Since all the rage is Bridgerton lately, I had decided to delve into that series giving up about midway through because one of the books annoyed me (Eloise was WRONGED). Still though, I have a soft spot for this genre but I wasn't ready to pick back up the Bridgerton series so this book was it! It scratched the Bridgerton itch and actually was far better than those books IMO. I freaking loved Minerva. She's my kind of sassy heroine that I like to see in romance novels. If you enjoy historical romance and/or Bridgerton you should pick this one up, I think you'll also find it a winner. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Griffin for an eARC copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Never Fall For Your Fiancee is a book that once you get into it, rolls right along quickly! Hugh is a rake of a man and Earl of Fareham. Before his father died, he found out that the men in his family have never been good or faithful husbands. To get his over-eager to get him married mother (who lives far enough away to not be privy) off his back, he creates a fake fiancee named Minerva and a host of reasons to keep his mother from visiting. But now, she's already set sail, and as fate would have it, Hugh meets (and sorta rescues) a damsel in distress named Minerva. Hugh hires Minerva to act as his fake fiancee, not realizing what an inadvertent match he's made for himself. There were plenty of tiny twists throughout this story, that kept it very interesting. I was invested in both characters, who deal with thinking of themselves as very different than who they actually are. There is a satisfying ending, and plenty of characters to enjoy and smirk quietly to yourself about. If you are a Bridgerton fan, enjoy period romances, or enjoy the good ole fake-relationship-becomes-real-love trope, then you will probably enjoy this one! Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Griffin for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted my view. I loved this book! It is exactly the type of trope I love: a fake relationship. I also love period romances with feisty heroines, and Heath definitely brought that to her character! This was such a fun read. I loved every character. They were fleshed out well without being overwhelming. I look forward to reading more from this author!
What a fun story! I love Regency and I love comedy. This is a perfect combination of both. I enjoyed both main characters, with their foibles and strengths.
Very much a Bridgerton comp, as well as for readers of Martha Waters and Evie Dunmore! This book was adorable and funny and just gave me all the feels. I loved how modern it felt and can't wait for book two. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view. Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, is more than happy to still be single, and has managed to put off his mother - who currently lives in America, no less - from wanting to marry him off for the last few years, with an imaginary fake fiancee, Miss Minerva Landridge, from Chipping Norton, who has had misfortune and disaster lead to a long engagement. But now his goose is cooked, as his mother is returning, and wants to met the lovely Minerva. But, as luck would have it, while walking in London, he meets a beautiful young lady, feisty and strong, who just happens to be called Minerva, and is willing to pretend to be his fiancee, for a cost. Minerva has been the sole breadwinner for her and her younger sisters, Diana and Vee (really it's Venus, but never call her that), and she really needs some money to help them out, and hopefully give them all a better life. Meeting Hugh, and agreeing to the plan seems like a gift sent from above, but the family's feelings over their father's abandonment, and past hurts, make it difficult to fully accept the 'Landridge' tale, especially when a pretend mother appears too. But what is more difficult, is seeing Hugh as a good man, and Minerva's feelings for him soon seem to get too much. Will their fake romance be able to blossom into something more, or will Hugh's fears over his own father and upbringing taint him against his happy ending. As soon as I had heard about this book, I was desperate to read it, and was buzzing when my review copy arrived in my inbox. The whole fake partner/fiancee trope is a favourite of mine, and the entire premise of this book intrigued me from the get go. Minerva Merriwell had to become parent to her younger siblings at 17, when her drunken and wastrel father finally upped and left, and she lost a potential husband in the mean time. In the five years since, she has done everything for her family, but money is tight, and it seems like they are finally going to be left with no options, when Hugh literally comes to her aid, like a hero. He's in a desperate place, and when he learns her name is Minerva, he begs her to be his 'fake' fiancee for a month, to appease his mother, and she'll be rewarded with enough money to help them, as well as the clothes', etc., needed for the masquerade. She was a fantastic character, and I just loved her. I also adored Hugh too, who had a public persona of being a bit of a Lothario, not willing to settle down, especially after his mother remarried and found her happiness following her marriage to his father, and parading a veritable bevy of young suitable ladies in front of him. But, he feels like his father's betrayal of his mother has tainted him, and he never wants to hurt his wife or children in the way that he was, so would rather be alone. Being with Minerva, pretending to be in love and exciting to marry, changes something in them both, and soon neither of them are really pretending, and they both lament their perceived difficulties in being together. Never Fall For Your Fiancee was a fantastic book, and a perfect start to the series. I sincerely hope book 2 is about Diana and Giles, because their banter and chemistry was unreal!
Despite how often we use the crying laughing icon, it's rare that we actually do it. This book proved the exception! Zany, hilarious and joyous, Never fall for your Fiancee would make a wonderful farce on the stage-especially the kind where there are five doors and people enter and exit on a rapid pace. Delightful! Recommended! Can't wait for the next book!
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC. Never fall for your Fiancée by Virginia Heath was my first time read for the author and I quiet enjoyed it. It was witty, light, funny and silly all at once. With a bit of steam of course. I'm a sucker for Fake engagements and in a historical romance ? Yes please!
Never Fall for Your Fiancée is the first book in The Merriwell Sisters by Virginia Heath. A historical romance with a fake engagement premise and the sizzling attraction between the couple can explode the entire regency era! The storyline is simple and intriguing. Hugh Standish is charming. A flirting gentleman who has commitment issues, who thinks he inherited his father’s philanderer tendencies. But his mother Olive, who lives overseas, wants him happily married, which means Hugh must fake engagement. Then the tough, outstanding, witty damsel named Minerva enters the picture. She takes care of her two sisters alone at her young age. He sees this as a sign and offers her to be his fake fiancée with handsome compensation. The characters are well-written, with lots of banter and undeniable chemistry. Never Fall for Your Fiancée is truly entertaining!
I grinned during this entire book. I adore Minerva and Hugh…the darn cutest names in a regency romance novel. And all the sisters named after Roman goddesses…how wonderful. Hugh acts completely carefree (act is the correct word) and Minerva is all that is proper, all while trying to do what she can to support her sisters. I’ll be honest, friends to lovers is not my favorite troupe. But pretending to be engaged/dating/in love is one of my favorites, so…I was in. Minerva’s sisters are hilarious, and Payne, Hugh’s butler, is excellent at putting Hugh in his place. The entire book is witty and silly and completely delightful. I cannot wait to see what will happen with Diana! (Maybe Giles—they seem to despise each other so many I will get my enemies to lovers story!!)
A fresh, fun and witty romance! Hugh and Minerva find themselves in need of one another for a fake engagement ruse - which of course is a terrible plan and when you add Menerva's sisters and Hugh's mother into the mix - of course, a fake engagement is going to be a disaster and yep, a recipe for falling in love.... A great read if you enjoy books by Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas!
Thank you NetGalley for sending this arc for an honest review! I love these sort of classical romance. This felt like a mix of pride and prejudice sort of combined with little woman. A typical man and woman not intrested this much in idea of marriage but are being pushed upon it. They don’t start off on the right foot but was than able to find a common ground in which they both can benefit from, that being creating a fake engagement. With the terms of not falling for each other…. But we know how that goes. It seems their fake becomes real. I adored the main charcaters, especially the female lead because she reminded me so much of Elizabeth from pride and prejudice, I aspire to be as strong such as these woman. The story was articulated and written perfectly I juda couldnt put my hand down.
This may be my very first Virginia Heath novel, but it most certainly won’t be the last! I found her writing to be absolutely delightful - full of fully fleshed out characters who continue to grow and evolve throughout their time in the novel, a well paced story rich in detail and action, and the best part? A wholly satisfying Happily Ever After. Bravo Ms Heath! You’ve got a new fan in me!
I really liked this one! It's the first time reading this author and I liked the story from the get go, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Hugh meets Minerva when he comes to her rescue as she's trying to get a payment from a client who doesn't want to pay. When he finds out her name is Minerva, he hires her to be his fake fiancée to show off to his mom. It's a well paced story with an enticing setting and great characters. Hugh and Minerva are well suited (even when they think they don't), and I also liked her sisters, Hugh's butler, and his mother and stepfather. Sexual content (not too much, but it's there). I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Virginia Heath is a powerhouse historical romance author. I always look forward to their work, and this one is no exception!
Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin's Press for this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review! Never Fall for Your Fiancee is a fun, regency, fake relationship, rom-com. I enjoyed the main characters, Hugh Standish and Minerva Merriwell, and the setting up of the plot. I also thought that Heath had some interesting underlying commentary about the socioeconomic standing of women during the late Regency era, which in some ways reminded me of Jane Austen. I really liked that the financial realities of the Merriwells weren't lost within the romance of it all (as is usually the case) and that it was something that Hugh was forced to reckon with. The way she balanced this more serious reality, with the lighthearted charm of the book was impressive and made for a more nuanced a deep telling of the story. I look forward to whatever future books come from this series!
Plot: This book made me laugh! The moments when their plan tries to fall apart were hilarious, and I loved the interaction between the characters, because the communication (and miscommunication) were so funny! Characters: All of the characters were great! I think Hugh was possibly the biggest idiot I've read in a book in awhile, but his relationship with Minerva was delightful. His mother and her husband were probably my favorite characters in the book! The Cover: I think it's fun! Overall: This was a fantastic beginning to a new Historical Romance series, and I will definitely be checking out the next in the series! Overall, I would absolutely recommend trying this book! I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.
Hugh created a fake fiancé to stop his mother from meddling with his love life. But it seems to have backfired when his mother and her husband jump on a ship from America to meet his future bride. Did Hugh do what any sensible person would do and come clean? Of course not. Where would the fun be in that? Enter Minerva. A young artist trying to take care of herself and her two younger sisters. When Hugh asks Minerva to be his fake fiancé, she was morally against it; but financially, it would change her and her sister’s lives. She just has to pretend to be in love with a rich, handsome, caring, charismatic gentleman. Whatever could go amiss? Hugh’s elaborate lies keep trying to unravel and the secondary characters do an excellent job of helping them come to light. Minerva brings her sisters with her as a caveat to their arrangement. One sister is immature and keeps throwing fits while another sister is cynical and believes Hugh will either kill them or seduce her sister. The actress he hired to play the girl’s mother is very method and very much a drunkard. And his best friend is watching the wreckage in complete rapture waiting to tell him “I told you so!” The plot was predictable and I loved every minute of it. Of course these two would end up falling for each other and have many misunderstandings on the way. But the journey was fun. It was funny and sweet and I have a feeling there will be a sequel. Perhaps with Hugh’s best friend Giles and Minerva’s sister Diana? I sure hope so, because I’ll read the heck out of that. Special thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for releasing this ARC to me in exchange for an honest review.
I adored this book. Hugh and Minerva are fighting an attraction to each other since the beginning of their game. Although Hugh gives the impression of a man whose main goal is to fool his mother so he can be responsible free. He is very clearly way more than that. Minerva has had way more responsibility than she should at her age. She Jaded and doesn't trust easily I loved Hugh and Minerva's easy banter. The sisters, best friends butled were all funny addition. Even the mother and stepfather brought some lightness and joy to this read. It was just good fun to read and I can't wait for more