The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall)

The Truth About Lord Stoneville - Sabrina Jeffries American heroine meets dissipated rake Hero in a London brothel when she was looking for her missing fiancé. Her shipowning father just died & his will entails for her to marry her fiancé. Hero blackmails heroine to pretend to be his fiancée both to appease his grandmother's marriage demands & to shock her into changing it. In exchange Hero will find heroine's fiancé & not report her young skittish cousin to authorities. Their pretend engagement draws them closer together & challenges Hero's inner demonds. As much as heroine is affected by hero she has to decide what to do with her missing fiancé & how she'll fit in Hero's life.

This Jeffries' book dragged. I usually like her novels but this one lacked her usual humor, sexiness, & pizzazz of her other books. It felt flat for the most part (2/3 of the book) & ordinary. I think the 1st 2/3 of the book had a contrived element to it & didn't flow very well. The characters were lackluster. Hero is supposedly this tortured soul but I didn't feel his pain or angst. I think the problem with this book is that it tells us who or how these characters are supposed to be but it fails to show it. Same problem goes with the sexual tension & sex scenes--it's described but lacked the accompanying emotional component. In the last 1/3, things picked up a bit but it was largely predictable & lukewarm.

A tepid read. For a more exciting Jeffries' book, read The Forbidden Lord (Lord Trilogy, Book 2), A Dangerous Love (Swanlea Spinsters, Book 1), or A Notorious Love (Swanlea Spinsters, Book 2).