Review – The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding by Victoria Alexander

The shocking secret of a guest at the weddingPublisher: Zebra
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley

The bride and groom cordially request your presence for a wedding at Millworth Manor. . .

Guests will include Jackson Quincy Graham Channing, New York City banker, and Lady Theodosia “Teddy” Winslow, wedding planner to the finest families in England.

Introductions shall be followed by light conversation, dancing, flirtation, arguing, reconciliation, and an impulsive kiss that both parties are quite certain they will never repeat.

Until they do.

A mutually beneficial fake engagement will be accompanied by all manner of very real complications, scandalous revelations, nefarious schemes, and one inescapable conclusion:

That true love–unlike the perfect wedding–is impossible to plan. . .
*Blurb from Gooreads*

I’ve been in a historical mood lately, so when I saw a new book from Alexander, I decided to give it a try. I’ve read and enjoyed her in the past, so I was a little bummed when this one didn’t work nearly as well as previous ones had. Also, this is the world’s longest book title…. *sigh*

Jackson is an American banker who gets the shock of his life when his dead father shows up, not at all dead. Finding out he has a large extended family, and will eventually be in line to an English title is a shock, enough to send Jack out of his familiar and boring life and onto an adventure across the pond.

Teddy has been keeping a secret since the day her father died, he left them horribly in debt, and the event planning she does is crucial to her survival. Meeting Jack at her best friend’s wedding has an instant attraction between the two, but once Teddy finds out who Jack is, she can’t imagine their attraction going anywhere. Except it does, and Teddy and Jack find out that their spur-of-the-moment fake engagement is exactly what they both want.

This book was super slow moving for me. I didn’t feel like I actually was invested in the characters until I was at page 200 or so. Add in the fact that the beginning felt more like backstory than anything, I really struggled with this one. I desperately wanted this book to pick up sooner, especially since once we really got to know more about the characters, I liked what I saw.

One thing I really liked about this book was the independent nature of Teddy. She was strong and resilient. She knew that she would need to keep herself and her mother afloat, and she made a name for herself planning parties and events for London’s elite. She dealt with creditors and people who were after her father’s debts, and she did it all with grace. I liked that about her. Right up to the very end when she made what I felt like was a ridiculous decision, especially since she admitted as much.

I thought Jack was a fun and different hero than I normally read in historical romances. He was an American born and raised, and although he had family ties back in England, the whole aristocracy was a mystery to him. I liked that he felt out of place, and really hard to carve out his own place in a world that he didn’t always feel welcome in. I thought that was a great and really interesting aspect to his character.

The romance between Teddy and Jack was my biggest struggle with this book. It wasn’t just a slow burn, it took FOREVER to even start. I was really disappointed in the way they approached one another. The attraction between them was somewhat obvious when they first met, but then from there things just continued to digress to the point that I felt like the romance was the worst aspect of this book. I needed more, and Teddy and Jack just couldn’t deliver.

All in all, I was pretty disappointed. It was so slow to pick up, and although I did enjoy the end, the first half or so made it really difficult for me to commit wholeheartedly to the story and characters. As individuals, I liked Teddy and Jack until their decisions at the very end, but for me ,their romance withered and died before it even got started.
I give The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding a C-

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