by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #2
Published on May 29, 2018 by Avon
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
The handsome, rakish heir to a dukedom, Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde—known to his friends as North—left England two years ago, after being jilted by Miss Diana Belgrave. He returns from war to find that he's notorious: polite society has ruled him "too wild to wed."
Diana never meant to tarnish North's reputation, or his heart, but in her rush to save a helpless child, there was no time to consider the consequences of working as a governess in Lindow Castle. Now everyone has drawn the worst conclusions about the child's father, and Diana is left with bittersweet regret.
When North makes it clear that he still wants her for his own, scandal or no, Diana has to fight to keep from losing her heart to the man whom she still has no intention of marrying.
Yet North is returning a hardened warrior—and this is one battle he's determined to win.
He wants Diana, and he'll risk everything to call her his own.
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After reading Wilde in Love and immediately falling in love with James’s writing and story, I couldn’t resist reading Too Wilde to Wed early and sharing my thoughts. While I will certainly continue reading books in this series, this one didn’t live up to the first book.
I felt like I read two different stories. The first half followed the romantic set-up with two people who had an unusual history but really didn’t know who the other was (which makes for plenty of awkward and sweet scenes between them). But then the second half of the book was a mess of sex scenes and indecisiveness that really annoyed me.
Too Wilde to Wed opens with Diana keeping a big secret from the rest of society about the child she’s been raising, a fact that’s tarnished the reputation of her former “beau” North who’s been away. You can see how this could go wrong when he returns, yes? Well, personally, I liked the set-up. I liked learning about Diana’s overbearing mother who made her into something Diana certainly was not, that she kept moving forward despite that, and really became her own person. And North did so much to catch her eye but never thought about being himself. All in all, the makings of a cute historical romance of two people finding themselves and each other.
What happened in the second half, I honestly don’t know. Diana became incapable of making a smart decision and constantly went against everything because she could. I think it was supposed to be some sort of defiance against societal views but it came across as annoying and out of character. North was pretty consistent throughout so at least that worked. There’s also a lot more explicit content in the second half. Which I don’t mind when it works for the story, but here it didn’t at all. They had the chemistry and suddenly it’s used as a way for Diana to keep North wrapped around her little finger. If they’re together he’s not “pressuring” her to do anything (and really, he was a well-written male lead considering others in the genre so my frustration centered around Diana).
James is a good writer, I’ve found, from the two books I’ve read so far, but this book’s characters didn’t have the same spark and charm the whole way through that I came in expecting. I needed more cohesiveness across the board to buy into this romance and this ship. The ending tied things up nicely even if it didn’t sit quite right with me (the pacing was a bit off), but I feel satisfied with how it all ended. In short, an average read and my expectations coming in definitely impacted my views when compared to the first in the series.