The Dangers of Doing Good by Rebecca Connolly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A twist on Cinderella and My Fair Lady.
We've met Duncan Bray in previous books (this can stand on its own), and I was curious to get his story. I always love it when the H/h meet right from the beginning, and these two meet in unusual circumstances. When Duncan meets the beaten and abused Annie, he can't stand by and do nothing. So he offers her the chance at a new life in London. At a fork in the road and being threatened to marry a despicable man Annie chooses to be brave for the first time in her life and goes with Duncan.
This is a sweet Cinderella-like story, Annie really comes from a poor and abused life and is thrown into a very respectable family of the ton. Duncan's family and friends take her under their wing and make her their own. While it did seem a bit implausible, it was fun to suspend belief for a bit and just enjoy the story of Annie's transformation. I loved the eccentric and endearing Aunt Tibby and how she sees the potential in Annie. I liked the friendship between Annie and Duncan's sister Marianne, and thought her reaction to the whole thing was probably the most realistic. Duncan was a good hero, always coming to the rescue, but also trying to give Annie space to grow. They have a sweet courtship, but I do wish we could have had some deeper interactions between them. And of course all of Duncan's friends and their wives added a fun element to the story.
I just have to say, I wish the author had done something similar as My Fair Lady or These Is My Words where her character starts out talking/thinking in broken English (and add in the thick commoner's accent she supposedly had) and obviously uneducated, then as the book progresses and the character learns and grows you slowly see the improvements in their speech and education. I mean, Annie is great, sweet and beautiful, but she was born into a very poor uneducated family and for at least the past few years been physically abused by her brother. The Annie we meet at the beginning is basically the same Annie we get at the end. We're expected to assume she doesn't speak well, but its not shown. Really, the Annie shown is similar to any other Lady in the book, in speech and manner. Since this is a transformation story, I would have enjoyed seeing more of a transformation, not just assuming things were changing. If that makes sense.
Overall, I did enjoy this one. Its well-written and the characters are engaging and keeps you wanting to read to see what will happen next. Even though it does deal with abuse, the book stays light and has a traditional regency feel to it. A fun addition to the Arrangement series.
Romance: Clean, just kissing
Violence: Mild-moderate. Talk of past physical abuse, a couple attacks, but nothing graphic
Series: Arrangements, Book Four - can stand alone
Source: Amazon Kindle - personal copy
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