Title: A Suitable Replacement
Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Rating: 5.00 of 5 Stars
After three years abroad on an arduous expedition, Maximilian is happy to be home, where he can pursue his private studies in peace and enjoy not living in a dusty tent. He is also glad he has arrived in time to attend his twin sister’s wedding in a few months, and to finally meet her fiancé, Kelcey.
Instead he arrives home to be accosted by his sister’s furious fiancé, who wants to know where she has run off to and why. When they confirm the wedding is most definitely canceled, Max has no choice but to fulfill the runaway clause in the marriage contract: he must find Kelcey a new spouse.
And if that was not enough to manage, there is also the matter of the people his sister angered when she vanished…
A Suitable Replacement is a wonderful AU ‘regency style’ romp. A fantasy, but historical in its elegance and setting, I found the story compelling and fascinating. When I picked up the book I did think it was a historical, the cover led me to believe that, but I soon realized it was so much with a universe that included references to magic, witches and goblins.
Maximilian Honeysett is a scientist and scholar, rich but without the responsibilities that comes with a title, that duty falls to his elder sister Mavin, Duchess of Armount. Max returns home from a three year expedition to find his sister missing and her devastatingly handsome fiancée, Kelcey, demanding to know where she is. It soon becomes apparent that Mavin has run off with a foreign noble Lord Ridley, leaving Max to pick up the pieces.
At first all Max wants to do is find Kelcey a new bride, as per the runaway clause in the marriage contract, but Max, equally exasperated and captivated by Kelcey, soon realizes that he would actually like to be that replacement himself. Unfortunately Mavin’s runaway Lord Ridley was engaged to a foreign princess, and the crown, desperate to avoid a scandal, has decided that Max should take his place. Max has no wish to marry a woman he’s never seen, so Kelcey suggests they elope together, if they can stay undetected long enough Max would be ineligible to marry the princess. But as the two men evade the crown it soon becomes clear that Kelcey also has enemies to avoid as well.
I loved this book, it was nothing like I expected but it was absolutely perfect. Max is an honorable and sincere man who’s used to living in his sister’s shadow, after all no one ever looked at him when she was around. They are twins but Mavin is the more sociable one, she’s also the more outrageous. Max was more than happy to fade into the background and lock himself away with just his experiments and his studies. Kelcey is a revelation to Max, coming straight out of the penny novels he secretly enjoys, Max refers to Kelcey as a ‘dashing highwayman’ from the moment they meet and it’s not long before his exasperation turns to longing.
Kelcey is from a disgraced family, his parents killed and his uncle and aunt executed for attempting to assassinate the royal family when he was a child. Kelcey was used to being shunned by society but Mavin befriended Kelcey, taking him under her wing and their engagement stemmed from that friendship. When she elopes his concern is not out of love for her more that he’s just concerned for her safety. Kelcey is quite shy underneath his brash exterior and he keenly realizes he’s no catch, it’s only when Max is ordered by the crown to marry the jilted princess that Kelcey reveals his budding feelings for Max.
I found the story witty and absorbing with multiple plot twists that kept me firmly entertained, and I was fascinated by the universe Megan Derr has created. A Suitable Replacement is book five in the Deceived series, and it can be read as a standalone. I’d only read a short story in the series before so I don’t know if the other books explain more about the universe they are set in but references to the Goblin Wars and magic intrigued me, and I loved how same sex marriage is perfectly acceptable, that’s one hassle the two men don’t have. Their society is just like a regency one with balls and calling cards so the mesh of the two halves is enticing and appealing. I particularly loved Mavin and her relationship with Max, the love between them is plain to see, and the conversations they have are priceless.
Overall I adored A Suitable Replacement and can’t wait to devour the rest of the Deceived series, and explore what other gems Megan Derr has hidden away. Very highly recommended.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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