Monday, 1 July 2013

Book Review: A Woman Entangled by Cecilia Grant

A Woman Entangled
Author: Cecilia Grant
Publisher: Bantam (US), Headline Eternal (UK)
Publish Date: 25 June 2013

An ambitious beauty seeking a spot among the elite is thwarted by a most disruptive gentleman in Cecilia Grant’s witty, elegant, and exquisitely sensual novel.
Kate Westbrook has dreams far bigger than romance. Love won’t get her into London’s most consequential parties, nor prevent her sisters from being snubbed and looked down upon—all because their besotted father unadvisedly married an actress. But a noble husband for Kate would deliver a future most suited to the granddaughter of an earl. Armed with ingenuity, breathtaking beauty, and the help of an idle aunt with connections, Kate is poised to make her dreams come true. Unfortunately, a familiar face—albeit a maddeningly handsome one—appears bent on upsetting her scheme.
Implored by Kate’s worried father to fend off the rogues eager to exploit his daughter’s charms, Nick Blackshear has set aside the torch he’s carried for Kate in order to do right by his friend. Anyway, she made quite clear that his feelings were not returned—though policing her won’t abate Nick’s desire. Reckless passion leads to love’s awakening, but time is running out. Kate must see for herself that the charms of high society are nothing compared to the infinite sweet pleasures demanded by the heart.

My Review

Kate Westbrook has always dreamed of marrying a man with a title, who will lift her into the exalted world of the ton. She's very beautiful, and she knows it. She also wants to regain the social standing her family would have enjoyed if her father hadn't married her actress mother.
Nick Blackshear has been a family friend of the Westbrook's for many years, as Mr. Westbrook has acted as his mentor. He has always carried a torch for Kate, no matter that the feelings are not reciprocated and no matter how hard he tries to bury the feelings.
When Kate gets her coveted entree into society, Nick is asked to keep an eye on her by her father. It's not long before the both of them begin to re-evaluate what is important to them, and what they're willing to give up for happiness.

I thought that this book sounded like it had such promise, but I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would. There is one primary reason for this- Kate. I struggled to like her, she was just so vain and mercenary at times. I know that she is a realistic and flawed character, and part of the beauty of the book is her journey to overcome these flaws for love. But I still didn't like her. If she'd been a bit less vain, I could have overlooked her determination to be part of high society, as part of that desire is born from good intentions. It wasn't just that she knew she was stunning, it was how often she mentioned/thought about it. She definitely improved in the second half of the book, but I still struggled to actually like her.

Nick is a good hero, he's an ambitious barrister and has aspirations to be in the House of Commons. He's infinitely more likable than Kate, and is very sweet. He's such a gentleman, and although he has suffered through his own family scandal he still maintains his integrity and ambitions.

I liked the friendship between the two characters, it was a delicate balance that was bound to tip one day. Their friendship grows and deepens, until it becomes love. I loved that Kate grew so noticeably in the book, I know I ranted about her but she does mostly redeem herself.

Cecilia Grant's writing style is wonderful, it's so smooth and flows brilliantly. Although, I did think that at parts it was a bit too slow.

Overall, a fairly enjoyable romance with realistic and flawed characters, and flowing prose. But not something I connected with or will read again.

*I received a review copy form the publisher, via NetGalley, for my honest review.

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