Review: Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas

Publisher: Berkley
Where did you get the book: Gifted
Release date: Out now

Millicent understands the terms of her arranged marriage all too well. She gets to be a Countess by marrying an impoverished Earl. And in return, the Earl Fitzhugh receives the benefit of her vast wealth, saving his family from bankruptcy. Because of her youth, they have agreed to wait eight years before consummating the marriage—and then, only to beget an heir. After which, they will lead separate lives.

It is a most sensible arrangement. Except for one little thing. Somehow Millie has fallen head over heels in love with her husband. Her husband, who has become her very best friend, but nothing more… Her husband, who plans to reunite with his childhood sweetheart, the beautiful and newly widowed Isabelle, as soon as he has honored the pact with his wife…

As the hour they truly become husband-and-wife draws near, both Millie and Fitzhugh must face the truth in their hearts. Has their pact bred only a great friendship—or has it, without either of them quite noticing, given rise to a great love?

*blurb taken from goodreads*

I think I may be in the minority but I’ve never been able to enjoy a Sherry Thomas title. I tried one of her earliest titles and couldn’t get into it. After reading the blurb for this title though, it set my book tingly senses aflutter. One: I love the marriage trope; two: I love me some good ole angst; three: I wanted to give Thomas another try because everyone raves about her books.

Millie has been in love with her husband, Fitz, since she first met him eight years ago after it was decided they were to marry when the Duke she was engaged to be married with died. But Millie quickly learnt that this marriage with Fitz wasn’t to be a marriage involving love on his part. Fitz was deeply in love with his childhood sweetheart, Isabelle. Millie can see the anguish Fitz is suffering so she makes a bargain with him: Their marriage will be in name only, and Fitz is free to go about as if single with other woman and Millie won’t make any claims on him.

For eight years, Millie and Fitz became great friends but Millie never lost that love for Fitz. And Fitz becomes to care for Millie as his friend, but nothing more. When Isabelle’s husband dies, she comes back and her and Fitz agree to be together once more. But Fitz can’t stand the idea of leaving Millie alone, so he tells her they are to finally consummate their marriage so Millie can have a child. Millie reluctantly agrees because she knows if she ever gets to hold and make love with the man she loves, she’ll become broken when he leaves her to live with Isabelle.

Like I said before, Thomas’s other title didn’t work for me. I love it when a book features a married couple, and I was hoping in this book we would have lots of romance time with Millie and Fitz, with Fitz coming to realise how much he loves Millie. We get this in the novel, but it’s featured right towards the end in a rush job that left me scratching my head in puzzlement. For most of the book we get the history of Fitz and Millie’s friendship of marriage in the past eight years, starting from when they first married. And it was depressing because Millie for most of those years had to endure the man she loved have sex with other women, and be in love with another woman.

Why on earth didn’t Millie just jump her bloody husband in bed one night? For her to keep so quiet about her feelings and not even attempt to try and gain Fitz’s love left me feeling puzzled. Fitz for most of the book is deeply in love with Isabelle and when she arrives back, he tells Millie that he’s going to become Isabelle’s faithful companion. But he’ll have sex with Millie so she can have a baby and he’ll have his heir. Oh Fitz, you bloody bastard. I wanted Millie to tell Fitz go off with Isabelle and for her to find happiness for herself.

It’s only when Fitz makes love with Millie that he starts to have second thoughts and looks at Millie completely differently. I don’t find this romantic whatsoever, and when at the end of the book we get Fitz finally coming to the realisation that he loves Millie, I felt completely cold as a reader. It had all the elements of angst which was done well, but I wanted more of a pay off with Fitz and Millie rather than a quick get together at the end.

I felt that for most of the time Millie’s emotions were muted. She seemed so calm and serene that at times I wondered why wasn’t she feeling more heated emotions. The angst at times felt very organised and calm. It was a little disconcerting to see such placid emotions when faced with heartbreak for all these years.

There’s no doubt Sherry Thomas is a fantastic writer because I read the book in one setting, but for me the emotional connection was missing in Ravishing the Heiress. I wished there was more present time with Millie and Fitz, and whilst I could understand why the friendship was shown because it was a relationship that bonded over the years, I wanted more romantic time.

All in all, I give Ravishing the Heiress a C-

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6 thoughts on “Review: Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas”

  1. I loved this book, until the 90% mark. The ending came out of nowhere. I didn’t like the first book in this trilogy- will still try book 3. She has a way with words for sure.

  2. I agree with you 100%. Angsty books need proper payoffs. Otherwise, it’s like one of those sex scenes that go on forever and then the phone rings and the h/h are all: bye, bye orgasm! That’s how I felt. It also bothered me that there was no real love declaration, no groveling, no big gesture. This book needed at least a big gesture. Instead what happens at the end is that the heroine goes missing for 4 hours, the hero worries and the heroine is the one who ends up saying: “I’m sorry I hurt you” W.T.F.?!?!

  3. @Mandi: I would have loved to have had another 100 pages devoted to Millie’s and Fitz’s romance, and for Fitz to do some grovelling. For Millie to endure all she had in those years…gah it makes me so sad. Friendship is fine and dandy, but I don’t understand why it took only sex for Fitz to realise he loved his wife.

    @Brie: It was so rushed the ending that it ruined the book for me. The heroine also frustrated me because throughout her marriage she did nothing to try and get Fitz to notice her. Why didn’t she jump him I didn’t understand.

  4. @Lou:

    I totally agree. The ending completely ruined the book. It was a B+ for me up to about 3/4 because I felt Fitz was getting away with being a self-indulgent whiny ass, but it helped to remember how young both of them were, but the ending was a disaster. I totally do not understand why CPs and editor didn’t get her to fix that.

  5. @Growlycub: I don’t understand either. If the ending was different and more page time had been added, it would have been a B or even an A grade for me. It was so frustrating because despite the HEA, I was left feeling depressed.

    Fitz got away with so much in this novel. Yes, Millie was complicit but I thought Millie endured a lot more heartbreak than he did.

  6. I have not read any of her books, and I also love the marriage trope, but you describe a very pale heroine. And what happens to the Lady Isabelle in the end? She is expecting the hero to be hers, right?

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