Monday, June 27, 2011

Follow My LeadFollow My Lead by Kate Noble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews. 3 1/2 kisses, 1 pepper (m/f)

Jason Cummings, Duke of Rayne, is so eligible he's harassed incessantly. He has decided that marriage is what comes next on the list of his life. He even realizes it might help fix his vague sense of loneliness. But the process of sorting through all the grasping misses is more daunting and unpleasant than he realized. In need of some respite, he decides to visit the male-dominated Historical Society. There he literally bumps into Winnifred Crane.

Winn is trying to get recognition and admission to the Historical Society, but she's running into roadblocks. She asks Lord Forrester, the president of the Historical Society, if her credibility can be bolstered by proving a certain painting is fake. To do so, she must travel to Europe. Jason agrees to accompany her to the ship in Dover and offer her whatever protection she might need, but he inadvertently gets dragged into her adventure abroad. That adventure turns into much more than either of them bargained for.

What I liked about Follow My Lead: Jason is a genuinely nice guy. He isn’t drop-dead gorgeous, and he doesn’t have a rakish attitude. In fact, neither of them is particularly beautiful, and I find that very refreshing. Jason is courting Lord Forrester's daughter when the journey begins and plans to ask her to marry him, which I thought was a nice departure from the formula found in so many romances where the hero falls in love (or at least in lust) at first sight and is immediately pursuing the heroine. This feels more realistic to me. I also enjoyed their journey and all the difficulties they faced together. I also really liked the gradual building of a friendship growing into romance.

What I didn’t like: I never felt like I fully warmed up to Winn. She is constantly telling Jason she can make the journey without him, and I understand and applaud her desire to be independent, but time and again they face serious problems that prove she really does need his help. She might be a bit more appreciative of his assistance. Without giving any spoilers, there’s also something that happens near the end that bothered me as a romance reader. Fortunately, everything is resolved and readers get their happy ending.

Overall this was a good book that I’d recommend to anyone who would enjoy reading a book that focuses a bit more on the mishaps of the journey than the romance. Kate Noble’s writing style keeps readers interested at every turn, and I look forward to reading more from her.

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