The Debutante is Mine is the first full-length novel in The Season’s Original series by Vivienne Lorret. It’s a quick-witted romance that will leave you swooning. I couldn’t put this one down!
[Major Spoilers; Mature Audiences]
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lilah Appleton is starting her third season, and she desperately needs this one to work out well for her. By the time it ends, she has to be married to a titled gentleman, or she’ll be married off to her horrible cousin per her father’s will. Her mother is absolutely no help and almost as bad as the cousin she’s being forced to marry.
Months before, Jack Marlowe was tasked with sending flowers to a Lilah Appleton by his friend the Duke of Vale. He thought it was as a gesture of goodwill since he was marrying Lilah’s friend, Ivy. Jack absolutely hates the aristocracy so he put it off, but he carries the card with her name on it in his pocket the entire time.
At first, he thinks Lilah is another uppity society miss, but as he gets to know her and her story, he knows he has to help her.
What happens when their feelings for each other become more intense? Jack doesn’t hold a title and Lilah has to marry a man who holds one. Jack was never one to go down without a fight, though.
The Debutante is Mine is such a fun read. I love historical romances where the problem isn’t between the two main characters but an outside problem they have to work together to overcome.
Lilah has to marry or be engaged before the season is over, and the man has to hold a title. Jack holds no title, though he is the bastard son of an Earl. What starts out as a bet between Lilah’s cousin, Juliet, and Jack’s friend Thayne, to create a season’s Original, quickly becomes more as Jack and Lilah are pushed together.
From the moment he’s introduced, Jack sees Lilah. Other men tend to forget her because they’re more interested in her widowed cousin, Juliet, but Jack seeks her out instead. Their banter and flirting is absolutely perfect every time they meet.
“Don’t dream of me, Lilah. I forbid you.”
She caught sight of his smirk just before he turned away and strode down the path. “I will not, Mr. Marlowe. After all, it would be unfair to all the other gentlemen I have parading around in my dreams already.”
The sound of his knowing laugh warmed her through. What an arrogant man.
They’re supposed to be helping her gain the attention of Lord Ellery, and when she finally gets it, it’s not really what she wants anymore. Lilah is attracted to Jack, and he to her. That’s when things begin to heat up between Lilah and her warrior…
“Lilah, order me to leave this instant,” he said, his voice more raw than rough, more beseeching than commanding.
“I have few choices that are my own, Mr. Marlowe,” she said, feigning vexation, even though it was hard to catch her breath. To ensure he waited until she finished, she leaned forward and splayed her hand over his waistcoat. “I am more inclined to ask you to…stay.”
Things do get a little predictable with Jack gaining a title, but his character growth through the novel is so good. He absolutely hates his father. He believes that the Earl of Dovermere abandoned his mother, who had been the Earl’s mistress, to marry someone more highborn to inherit his family fortune.
The problem is, things are more complicated than they appear and there are two sides to every story. I love that Dovermere isn’t a bad guy. He genuinely loves his son, and he tries very hard to be a part of his life and have Jack be a part of his family’s life, too. Granted, it’s not the best situation since Jack’s mom was done so wrong, but I was happy that Dovermere was redeemable.
While Jack reconciles with his father, Lilah finally stands up to her mother and takes control of her life. It’s sad because her mother is so stubborn and mean to Lilah, who is very charming and tries to make her happy, but Lilah knows she’ll be better without her mother in her life.
I have to admit, the scene in which Jack makes his grand entrance toward the end will always be one of my favorites in any romance. He’s such a flirt and you won’t stop grinning.
Historical romance fans, you’ll definitely want to give this one a read! It’s funny, sweet, and hot. It’s going on my favorite shelf! I can’t wait for the second novel in The Season’s Original series. It will feature Jack’s friend, Liam. Reformed rake coming through!