Never Fall for Your Fiancée by: Virginia Heath

” The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, ever wants is a wife. Unfortunately for him, his mother is determined to find him one, even from across the other side of the ocean. So Hugh invents a fake fianc e to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay. But when Hugh learns his interfering mother is on a ship bound for England, he realizes his complicated, convoluted but convenient ruse is about to implode. Until he collides with a beautiful woman, who might just be the miracle he needs.

Minerva Merriwell has had to struggle to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since their feckless father abandoned them. Work as a woodcut engraver is few and far between, and the Merriwell sisters are nearly penniless. So when Hugh asks Minerva to pose as his fianc e while his mother is visiting, she knows that while the scheme sounds ludicrous, the offer is too good to pass up.

Once Minerva and her sisters arrive at Hugh’s estate, of course nothing goes according to his meticulous plan. As hilarity and miscommunication ensue while everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight, Hugh and Minerva’s fake engagement starts to turn into a real romance. But can they trust each other when their relationship started with a lie? “

***I won an ARC of this book, ahead of its November 9th release, through a Goodreads Giveaway***

I enjoy historical romance novels…and when they add the fauxmance to romance trope? I’m in love!

I’ve never read any of Virginia’s writing before and am so glad I stumbled over the summary of this book on the giveaways page.

We have Hugh, a somewhat broody man who thinks he’s a rake incapable of loving just one woman and so refuses to marry…because he doesn’t want to break someone’s heart. At the same time, he doesn’t want to break his mother’s heart by telling her he doesn’t wish to marry…and so he created the perfect-sounding fiance to hold off his mother’s matchmaking. Elaborate lies always have an expiration date…and his is quickly approaching as he finds out his mother intends to cross the ocean to not only meet his “fiance” but see them married.

Now, what is a man to do when he’s spent two years crafting an elaborate story to his mother? As luck would have it (as it always does) he runs into, and white knights for, a woman who is not only gorgeous but also shares the same first name as the fiance he created…a woman who also is struggling financially and could use some assistance.

Minerva Merriwell has spent the past 5 years raising and caring for her two younger sisters since their father abandoned them to do who knows what. Minerva really doesn’t want to help Hugh lie to his mother…though the money she’d make from it would go far in ensuring she keep a roof over her and her sister’s heads.

Hugh and Minerva begin to form a friendship while navigating the story he wove and feelings start to form. Of course, there won’t be smooth sailing, as Hugh had thought, and they’ll be forced to act fast to avoid all the random hurdles that pop up that might spill the beans on their fauxmance.

I enjoyed this story from beginning to end. Hugh constantly thinks of how his thoughts/actions/inactions will affect others and tries his best to prevent others from being hurt because of him…makes me think of that Tiktok sound where they show different people and say “looks like a cinnamon roll but could kill you, looks like they could kill you but is a cinnamon roll…” and Hugh is the sweetest cinnamon roll!

The interactions between the two and how even when they’re upset with or hurt by, each other they still stand up for the other…is just so great to see.

If you’re a fan of historical romance or the fauxmance to romance trope you’ll love this book!

Now I need to keep my eyes peeled on Netgalley and Goodreads for whenever Virginia drops the ARC for her next Merriwell sisters book!

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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