titled husband before she’s forced to wed her wretched cousin, she must make
this Season count. Plain, forgettable Lilah must become the Season’s Original.
Desperate, she seeks help from the devilishly charming, untitled, and
thoroughly unsuitable Jack Marlowe. All she must do now is resist the tempting
But she’s far more dangerous. Her alluring smiles and sharp tongue intrigue
him. Before he knows it, he agrees to help her find a husband, revealing tricks
to ensnare any man. The only problem is, his plan works too well—on him.
Read an Excerpt:
In the midst of the terse exchange, Jack Marlowe kept a steady eye on Lilah as he moved into the room. Briefly, she wondered if he was trying to remember her name.
He would not be able to, she knew. And for once, she wouldn’t care a fig. Jack Marlowe was the one man whose amnesia would make her elated beyond measure. Nonetheless, she sat straighter, waiting for him to give up the attempt and for his gaze to leave hers.
His mouth quirked at one corner. “Miss Appleton. A pleasure to see you again.”
A jolt of surprise snapped through her, causing the pulse at her throat to quicken. A flood of heat prickled her cheeks and her ears turned hot too.
“Mr. Marlowe, have you been introduced to my niece?” Aunt Zinnia asked, disapproval lacing her tone.
He inclined his head in something resembling both an answer and an absent gesture of greeting. However, everyone in the room knew that ladies of the nobility deserved first consideration, not last. “I took the matter upon myself, earlier today in fact.”
Aunt Zinnia’s gaze sharpened. “Do you mean to say that you introduced yourself to Miss Appleton?”
“Yes,” he answered with a chuckle.
“Jack, that simply is not done in society,” Mrs. Harwick added fondly but with a waggle of her finger.
“It is fortunate, then, that Miss Appleton and I did not meet in society but in the garden instead.” He turned to Lilah, an unrepentant grin on his lips. “Unless you would consider our first meeting on the street this morning.”
So he had seen her. The smile, the salute—those had been for her? Something warm inside of her fluttered. For an instant, she nearly forgot how much she disliked him. Nearly.
“The street!” Aunt Zinnia gripped the edge of her armrests. The subtle nuances in her expression that usually relayed her disapproval were now quite evident. “Marjorie, were you aware of this?”
“Of course not. Had I known, I would have made the proper introductions. After all, Jack has been Maxwell’s friend since they were in school together.”
This did not appear to appease Aunt Zinnia. “Lilah, you must think of your reputation. To be seen engaging in conversation with a man to whom you have not been introduced—and in a public square, no less—could endanger your options of finding a suitable match. We cannot afford to make any errors.”
Lilah knew this all too well. “Aunt Zinnia, there was no ‘exchange’ in the street whatsoever.”
“I beg to differ,” Jack added, the certainty in his tone drawing far too much attention. “I distinctly recall your smile cast in my direction.”
All eyes fell upon her. She clasped her hands to make sure she wasn’t holding cymbals after all.
“No, I was laughing at the man who had the audacity to ride a war horse in the middle of town,” Lilah corrected, forcing that errant fluttering to cease. “You must excuse Mr. Marlowe, for I believe he would like nothing more than to incite riots wherever he roams.”
Jack Marlowe is the bastard son of an earl, and has no use for society and people with titles. Though he has been publicly claimed and acknowledged by his father, he still has to endure the innuendos and outright insults from people who feel he is inferior. He chooses to ignore those invitations he does receive, and has made himself a very wealthy man through his own hard work. His circumstances have left Jack cynical and somewhat jaded.
Lilah Appleton is now in her third season, and this one appears destined to be as unsuccessful as the first two. Lilah appears plain and nondescript, and gentlemen tend to forget her moments after they meet her. Unfortunately, Lilah’s late father left a will that states if she does not receive a proposal from a gentleman with a title by her third season, she must marry her awful cousin, Winthrop. Lilah’s friend and cousin, Juliet, is determined not to let this happen, and begins a campaign to have Lilah declared this season’s “Orginal.”
When Jack and Lilah meet, it’s not love at first sight, though there is definitely an attraction. Lilah is amazed that at their second meeting, Jack remembers her and her name. For all his cynicism, Jack is amazed that other men can’t see her quiet beauty. Through an interesting set of circumstances, and a wager, Jack and Lilah are very often thrown into each other’s company. While these encounters are usually filled with zingers and barbs thrown at each other, Jack is never really cruel to Lilah, and soon he comes to genuinely like her. He wants to help her not to be forced into marriage with her sleazy cousin, but soon he finds all his previous thoughts of love and marriage have gone by the wayside. He wants Lilah for himself.
I absolutely love Jack and Lilah. Jack had a rough life. His father never even knew of his existence until he was ten years old, then did his best to become part of his life. Jack is trying his best to keep the chip on his shoulder, but his half-sisters, his father, and Lilah are wearing down his resistance. He’s not really the rogue he claims, as his loving treatment of Lilah shows. Lilah is a genuinely good person, she’s willing to sacrifice herself to a convenient marriage to keep her family together, she just doesn’t want it to be to her truly awful cousin. Lilah would happily marry Jack, she doesn’t care about his birth, but that wouldn’t satisfy the terms of her father’s will, and would alienate her mother.
Reading THE DEBUTANTE IS MINE was pure delight for me. The story was in turn, sad, funny, amusing, exciting, passionate, heartbreaking, and then joyful. Lilah and Jack are perfect for each other, and I loved watching their love grow with each encounter. I wondered how this could possibly work out, and the solution did have a bit of fairy tale quality to it, but it worked, and I found it very satisfying. Vivienne Lorret gets better with each book, and is an auto read author for me. I enjoyed this well written story, and am happy to highly recommend THE DEBUTANTE IS MINE.
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author, VIVIENNE LORRET loves romance novels, her pink laptop,
her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are
days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon Impulse
author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding
Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke’s Christmas Wish, and the
Season’s Original Series.