I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Borne to be Wilde by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #3
Published by Avon Genres: Historical
All of society knows that Lavinia Gray is bright, beautiful, and wealthy. Only the last is a lie, as Lavinia herself recently found out. Convention dictates Lavinia needs to marry a rich man as quickly as possible, which is why she lets her cousin talk her into proposing to Parth Sterling. Not only is Parth one of the richest men in England, he’s a man who knows how to get things done. The only problem is, the man she loved to tease in better times turned her down flat, which is devastating in more ways than one.
Parth Sterling has the perfect bride in mind, and it is definitely not the luscious Lavinia Gray. He can’t help but feel for her, which is why he offers to find her a wealthy husband. Except that the longer Parth spends around Lavinia, the less he can bear the thought of anyone but himself being her husband. Parth doesn’t know it yet, but the woman who is the opposite of everything he thinks he should want may just turn out to be everything he needs.
Born to be Wilde snaps and sparkles all the way through. I adore a good frenemies-to-lovers romance, and Eloisa James has delivered a truly delightful one in Parth and Lavinia’s story.
Lavinia has been brought up to be the wife of a wealthy man and not much more. Despite this, she’s quite bright and incredibly charming. She’s also in dire straits at the beginning of this story. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say that Lavinia is hit with a lot of responsibility all at once and she doesn’t let it break her even though the life she has lived hasn’t prepared her to shoulder the burden she takes on. What I loved best about Lavinia was her eye for fashion. It’s so much more than the frivolous fancy people assume it is and what she does with her knowledge, skills, and talents had me cheering for her all the way through the book. The one person who has the ability to knock Lavinia off her stride is Parth. Parth is intelligent, clever, and handsome, but man does he get it wrong with Lavinia. He’s attracted to her, but he sees her as shallow and he couldn’t be more wrong. I loved watching them bicker and struggle against their mutual attraction even as they managed to peel back the layers of each other’s characters. It’s a rocky road to happily ever after for these two, but they have such undeniable chemistry and their romance is so engaging that I was happy to go along for the ride.
Born to be Wilde is the third book in Ms. James’s Wildes of Lindow Castle series and though it can be read as a standalone, if you start here be prepared for major spoilers from Wilde in Love and Too Wilde to Wed. The Wildes adopted Parth at five years old and they happily bring Lavinia into their fold, so it’s no surprise that most members of the Wilde family play supporting roles in this book. The Wildes as a whole are warm, welcoming, funny, supportive, and endearing and they’ve made every book in the series shine. I can’t count the number of times Born to be Wilde made me grin. It’s a truly delightful story and I highly recommend it to any historical romance fan.