FICTION

Suitors and Sabotage

336p. Feiwel & Friends/Swoon Reads. Apr. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250145659.
COPY ISBN
Gr 8 Up—Imogene Chively is being courted by Ernest Steeple, the eldest son of a wealthy family—but when Ernest and his younger brother Benjamin come to stay at the Chively estate, it is Ben who captures Imogene's interest. Ben and Imogene have artistic endeavors in common; Ben wants to be an architect, but lacks artistic skill. Imogene is a talented artist but as a woman in the 1800s, has no clear career path available to her. She agrees to help teach Ben, and it is during those lessons that the two begin to fall for each other. In addition, a series of accidents plague Ben until it becomes obvious that someone is trying to purposefully harm him. This attempt at a Regency romance with a dash of mystery fails to be either romantic or very mysterious. The relationship between Imogene and Ben lacks heat, and the mystery doesn't start until well into the middle of the book. This cliché-filled narrative about the privileged world of landed gentry doesn't offer anything new to the genre.
VERDICT Not recommended.

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