A Perfect Plan by Alyssa Drake

perfectplan1

three-stars

A Perfect Plan is a story of Sam Hastings and her family’s tragic history. With her parents and brother murdered by an unknown assailant, she is forced to consider marriage. A thing she considers, as a strong feminist, most detestable. That is, until she meets Lord Benjamin Westwood. While their relationship unfolds, so too is the murder of her parents revealed, placing them all in danger.

The prologue sets the story up perfectly, introducing an intriguing murder mystery and setting the scene of 19th century England. Unfortunately, the rest of the book fails to deliver on the prologue’s promise.

The quality of writing is good throughout but it is the complexity of the plot and character inconsistencies that disappoint.

From the onset, Sam is portrayed as a strong heroine, well read, uninterested in marriage and a skilled fencer. Yet, she continually giggles, falls instantly in love and, as danger looms, rather than take the reins she becomes a typical damsel in distress.

The relationship between Sam and Benjamin is well portrayed, and is more erotica than Hollywood romance. There are some wonderfully written scenes that get the blood flowing.

His eyes traveled hungrily over her figure, highlighted by the movement of her dress.  As she drew nearer he felt his loins tighten with anticipation.  A surge of warmth spread through his entire body. 
His lips promised worlds of wonder and ecstasy.  “I think you would, Miss Hastings.  I think you would enjoy it immensely.  I know I would.”

One aspect of the writing that did start to grate on me was the unrealistic and overly dramatic use of expressions. People regularly seem to growl or literally throw their head back to bellow with laughter.

Benjamin physically bit his tongue until he tasted blood to prevent an ungentlemanly comment from slipping past his lips. 
Benjamin threw his head back and laughed.  He laughed a full five minutes before catching his breath. 

The mystery aspect, so strongly hinted at during the prologue, is almost non-existent throughout most of the book. By the time things begin to heat up, and the murderer is revealed, the book comes to an abrupt end. What motives are revealed appear unconvincing and I can only hope that this is better delivered in the sequel.

 

A Perfect Plan Book Cover A Perfect Plan
Wiltshire Chronicles
Alyssa Drake
Historical romance
Dream Big Publishing
February 2016
241

 

Samantha Hastings lived a quiet, peaceful life on her family’s country estate. With no man to order her around and no stifling society rules to follow, she considered herself blessed. However, when her brother’s ship sinks during a short trip to France, Samantha receives a request from her sister-in-law to return to town and manage the late Earl’s finances. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and a pair of very familiar green eyes.

Lord Benjamin Westwood never intended on following through with his rash promise to his best friend. Now, with Edward’s death, Benjamin becomes the unwilling guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister, who has grown up considerably since the last time they met. His intention to marry her off to the first available suitor is thwarted when he finds himself falling for Samantha’s unique demeanor. He lights upon the perfect plan; a marriage of convenience, giving him the opportunity to romance Samantha without distraction.

However, when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play, Benjamin’s perfect plan begins to quickly unravel. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized and Benjamin is running out of time.

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