Long Live the Baron – Nina Jarrett

I’m not sure how to start this review, to be honest. I try to be optimistic, but I struggled through Long Live the Baron; I would give it a maximum of two stars. The novel was promising based on the synopsis on BookSirens, but it fell apart pretty quickly for me. The characters were bland and the plot not as nearly engaging as it seemed. 

I loved the premise of this book. Marriage because of a false (but true) alibi for murder was a great concept, and as a mysterious romance lover, it appealed to me. With the addition of having to solve the uncle’s murder, it seemed like a slam dunk. However… the characters ruined this book for me and the plot was a little disappointing, too. 

Let’s tackle Lily, first: she’s an airhead. Sometimes she says some meaningful things, but she chatters with no sense of social or self-awareness. She’s on her third season in society with no husband in sight, probably because she won’t stand up to her mother, who infantilizes her and dresses her like she’s 14 instead of 23. Somehow, even though her mother shrieks, catastrophizes everything, and is probably the reason she hasn’t found a husband yet, Lily still loves her deeply and doesn’t want to disappoint her. It’s very enmeshed, if I can use that term with no expertise. 

Lord Brendan is as shallow as they come, sleeping with lots of women and determined not to marry until he has to. However, when met with Lily’s alibi, he talks himself into doing the noble thing and marrying her to save her reputation. Amazingly, he’s also blind. He briefly met Lily twice before their wedding day and then spent an entire afternoon looking at her face. Since she wore a grown-up dress and hairstyle to the church, though, he wondered who the gorgeous girl walking up the aisle was. Imagine his surprise when she turned out to be his fiancee. 

As Brendan and Lily start their life together, Lily is so pumped to be out from under her mother’s thumb that she turns out to be a mildly interesting person. Brendan finds her chatter to be utterly charming and discovers that women can be pleasant company outside of the bedroom. Who knew that all of his mistresses just fell silently into bed with no work or respect on his part? He likes Lily in the bedroom, too, so it’s a win-win. Soon, a whole two days after their marriage, they’re very in love. I don’t know about you, but it would take me more than 48 hours of face time to adjust to living with someone, let alone fall in love. 

Their love almost didn’t blossom, as Brendan approached Lily’s selfless gesture of self-sacrifice with a healthy dose of skepticism. He wondered whether she was trying to trap him into marriage – a fair concern, as he was considered very eligible. Honestly, I think that was the sanest thought Lord Brendan had in this entire book. He ended up having to persuade her (because she pouted and cried) that he did want to marry her and wooed her like a suitor. It was very backward and I can’t say that I would have done the same. Behave like a child, and get treated like one.

Oh – the mystery plot. We’re left with a “cliffhanger” at the end, surrounding a mysterious letter with unknown contents. That’s what the murder was about. So, it’s more like a small ledge because we don’t know the contents of the letter, nor can we guess the implications, so we don’t have a reason to get hooked and read the next book. 

Published by SamIAmReading

I am an avid reader and lover of historical mysteries and romances, but happy to take review requests and expand my horizons! All opinions in this blog are my own and have been given freely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *