Accidentally in Love (novella) by Claudia Dain

accinlove

Miss Emeline Harlow has loved Kit Culley all her life and is going to marry him. Unfortunately, Kit doesn’t know that.

Growing up together in Wiltshire has given Kit the odd idea that he and Emeline are practically siblings. They are not. Now that they are both in London for the 1804 Season, Emeline is going to prove it to him. Emeline and Kit both have mothers who are determined that they marry into the peerage, but that isn’t going to stop Emeline from using every ploy she can think of to get Kit to realize that he loves her.

What Emeline quickly realizes is that growing up in Wiltshire has not prepared her to have “ploys.” She does, however, have Lady Eleanor Kirkland as a new London friend and Eleanor is very sophisticated for a girl just Out, and she has very sophisticated Town connections, one of them being Sophia Dalby, ex-courtesan and widowed countess.

Between Eleanor and Emeline, Kit and Lord Raithby, Emeline’s mother and Kit’s mother, Emeline’s three younger brothers, and with a final push from Sophia Dalby, there are ploys aplenty. Find out how Kit falls accidentally in love in this lighthearted Regency romp, a novella in the More Courtesan Chronicles series.

Rating: D+

As well as being part of Ms Dain’s Courtesan Chronicles series, this novella is also one of a series of mixed-genre novellas from Red Door Reads. It’s light and fluffy, written with a deft touch – and it certainly passed an hour or so pleasantly, but it’s rather too insubstantial for my tastes.

The plot can be summed up as follows: Emeline Harlow has been in love with her childhood friend, Kit Cullen, for as long as she can remember, but he doesn’t seem to have noticed or share her feelings. How is she going to get him to fall in love with her?

And that’s it.

It’s fun and frothy, and while Emeline’s constant “oh, he’s soooooo gorgeous, but he’s so thick not to have noticed me!” is a bit overdone, it’s written with a gentle humour that makes it less than grating.

The writing flows well, and we are introduced to various characters who will no doubt make appearances in future stories. But the characterisation is shallow overall, and Kit is presented as rather a “mummy’s boy”, something which clearly annoys Emeline, as on the couple of occasions in the story when she and Kit have an actual conversation, she confronts him about it.

There is little dialogue, although what there is is perfectly fine.

Would I read this again? Has it interested me in reading more in the series? Probably not, on both counts.

If you’ve got an hour to spare and are in the mood for something akin to a very frothy cappuccino – one that’s all froth and hardly any coffee – then this might suit. But if you want to read a novella that delivers on the coffee, stick to Courtney Milan.

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