Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

If you can see the cover, this is a paperback romance novel. I really wanted something light and fluffy after Sapiens. My current reading goal is to alternate between nonfiction and fiction when I can.

I chose Eloisa James for a couple of reasons. I have been trying for years to find something akin to Georgette Heyer’s romance novels. No one can really replace Heyer. This was my second or third go at trying to find someone who can capture her way with late 18th century romances. I think I should give up trying to find something similar. I had read James’s memoirs of living in Paris and I remember liking it.

This novel was ok. I gave it three stars on GR, but I think it’s firmly 2.5 stars. While I was not particularly annoyed or bothered by the characters, I did not really feel invested in them. The male lead Alaric was not interesting. He is an adventurer but the reader never actually sees him being adventurous. While I liked the female lead Willa a bit, she also felt oddly underdeveloped. The book was a bit slow and very predictable. All of it takes place over a couple weeks at a house party in the country. I wish there had been a change of scenery once.

I know a lot of people read these novels for the titillating romantic scenes, and while these weren’t bad, they aren’t really the reason I read novels. I look for and like banter between the characters. I actually wanted to hear more about the friendships or the sibling relationships between the characters.

This is the first in a series and there is a cliff hanger ending to tease about the fate of the secondary characters. I am actually a bit tempted to read the next book in super skimming mode to see what happens. I also want to give James another go because this is not her most famous series.

Read June 19-20, 2020.