Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher
Release date: April 2nd
London weather is chilly—and the social scene even more so. Luckily, Bridget Forrester is just getting warmed up…
Bridget longs to meet a gentleman who doesn’t mention her beautiful sister upon shaking her hand. But since being branded a shrew after a disastrous social season, Bridget knows she’s lucky to even have a man come near her. It’s enough to make a lady flee the country…
So Bridget heads to Venice for music lessons with the renowned Italian composer Vincenzo Carpenini, with whom she’s been corresponding. But not only is Carpenini not expecting her, he doesn’t even remember her! His friend, theater owner Oliver Merrick, does, though. And one look into her tantalizing green eyes has him cursing his impulsive letter-writing, which brought her across the continent. Yet before Merrick can apologize, Carpenini has ordered her away.
Little does either man know that they will soon be embroiled in a wager that will require the beautiful Miss Forrester’s help—or that there’ll be far more at stake in this gamble than money…
*blurb taken from Goodreads*
I was quite intrigued by Let It Be Me as I enjoyed a similar musical theme in Carrie Lofty’s SONG OF SEDUCTION.
Before I begin, I want to mention the beginning of Let It Be Me as it confused me. There’s a prologue of the heroine where she is in her 90’s, and it’s a short vague bio where it’s explained that her husband passed away 6-7 years ago. That took me aback a little because I’m unashamedly insistent that in my romances, the characters live happily ever after and they don’t die in the pages. This was a prologue that wasn’t needed and didn’t add anything to the story.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed Let It Be Me as it features a sweet romance but at times I was left a little bored by the plot of the story. When Bridget manipulates her family into taking a trip to Venice Italy, she feels that it will be a brand new start for her. After a humiliating encounter where she’s called a shrew, Bridget feels as if there’s no chance for her. Everyone compares her to her beautiful sister, and her love of music and talent is hidden away due to stage fright.
When they arrive in Venice, Bridget sneaks away with her maid, Molly, to Vincenzo Carpenini’s place of residence to answer his letter in person. Bridget gets a rude awakening when Oliver answers the door and thinks she’s a prostitute for Vincenzo. Oliver soon quickly realizes his mistake, but Bridget gets a second rude awakening when Vincenzo arrogantly and rudely dismisses her as a whore. Oliver tries to correct Vincenzo but Bridget runs off. Bridget is shattered that Vincenzo dismissed her without regard but she’s soon drawn into Oliver and Vincenzo’s plans for a wager where a student of his must play against his rival’s student. Vincenzo must win to be brought back into Venice’s good graces after having an affair with the married daughter of a Marchese.
The infusion of musicality was very evident in the book, and it was consistent throughout. The heroine truly loved music and the author did her research. Bridget and Oliver’s romance was very gentle and sweet. At first, Bridget has a crush on Vincenzo but that disappears when she sees for herself what an egotistical and very rude man he is. Bridget and Oliver’s interactions were sweet, and mild mannered Oliver soon becomes incensed by the way Vincenzo treats Bridget. I loved that Oliver was an actor who ran theatre companies. He made for a very different hero archetype, and it was very refreshing. Their romance blossoms at the same time Bridget’s talent’s blossoms, not so much under the tutelage of Vincenzo, but by her friendship and romance with Oliver.
So whilst I enjoyed Bridget and Oliver’s romance I have to admit that the book was very slow in action midway. I was hoping to see some change in Vincenzo’s personality but he remained a horrible character throughout the book. Oliver and Bridget’s romance finally gains in tension but the ending was a let down. Here there be spoilers:
Oliver and Bridget make love, and it was a lovely scene. But during the wager where Bridget is to play, Vincenzo steals a composition created by Bridget. Oliver is angry, but he sides with his brother. This was such a shock because it was so out of character of Oliver. It was such a weak un-heroic action that I thought less of Oliver.[/spoiler]
The ending is quickly rushed with Oliver rushing back to Bridget in England, and after a quick apology, it’s a snappy HEA quickly followed by The End. All in all, it’s a sweet romance but I was let down by Oliver at the end. C-