cover image Never Fall for Your Fiancée

Never Fall for Your Fiancée

Virginia Heath. Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-78776-7

Heath (How Not to Chaperone a Lady) launches a historical rom-com series with this fun, charming tale of a lie spun wildly out of control. Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, has resolved never to marry, but his headstrong mother is determined to find him a wife. To evade her long-distance matchmaking, Hugh invents a fiancée named Minerva, whom he describes in detailed letters over the course of two years. Then his mother announces her intention to visit and finally meet Hugh's intended. Luckily for him, he happens to meet the beautiful but impoverished artist Minerva Merriwell, who agrees to pose as Hugh's fiancée and, when the time is right, stage a broken engagement in exchange for 40 pounds. Unluckily for him, he and Minerva have a genuine connection, and his fake fiancée may wind up a greater threat to his independence than his meddling mother. Their ruse is also complicated by the delightful cast of supporting characters, including Hugh's disdainful butler, Minerva's difficult younger sisters, and the showboating actor Hugh hires to play their mother. Heath's sole misstep is an overreliance on miscommunication to drive the plot, but the farcical group scenes will have readers laughing out loud. This is well worth a look. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Nov.)