Thursday, September 12, 2019

#BookReview – “A Well Favored Gentleman” by Christina Dodd


Where has she been? The rumors fly throughout the Scottish countryside about Lady Alanna, the beautiful and mysterious displaced mistress of Fionnaway Manor. And now she has emerged from hiding, only to find her beloved estate besieged by greedy relatives. . .and coveted by a darkly handsome Englishman.

Ian Fairchild knows that Fionnaway belongs to him alone. For years he yearned for the cherished place where he passed his childhood. He can secure his rights to the manor only through marriage with the enigmatic Alanna, but the exquisite hellion has warned him at knifepoint to leave her house.

Now with skill and charm, Ian must penetrate the lady's defenses, and boldly lay claim to her body and spirit. But first he must prove himself worthy, and he holds the power to enchant and delight, inflame and inspire. . .and to convince this lady her true home is in her lover's heart.


In the second book in the Well Pleasured series, Ian Fairchild arrives at Fionnaway Manor in Scotland at his dying father’s behest. As one of the infamous Fairchilds, he’s an illegitimate son trapped in a cruel family who taunts him and makes him feel inferior. He’s also part Selkie and has abandonment issues since his seal-shifter mother left him when he was a child.
Lady Alanna MacLeod is the long-lost rightful heir and mistress of the manor. She ran away four years ago to escape an unsuitable marriage and now plans to return on her twenty-first birthday to take control of the manor and her lands. Unfortunately for her, Ian wants her property just as badly as she does. He’s the son and heir to the cruel Leslie Fairchild, Alanna’s guardian. When she returns, Ian knows he’ll only get the property through marriage, so he sets out to seduce her.
I couldn’t relate to Alanna and Ian. They’re both strong, stubborn characters, but they constantly butted heads. He’s so desperate for a home and a place to belong that he selfishly seduces her without a care to her wants and needs. Likewise, she’s so naïve and hopeful to win back her home from Leslie that she can’t see all the problems ahead of her. (As a land-owning woman in her time-period, she doesn’t have many rights and needs a husband to secure her future. It’s not right or fair, but that’s how things worked.) Given her options, I found her very foolish for not giving Ian a chance to prove himself. Also, the age difference irked me. She’s 21 and he’s 34. It was a little much for me.
Though I liked parts of this book, I don’t understand why Alanna and Ian catered to Leslie, who was an absolutely horrible person. He despises his son and makes everyone around him miserable. In the previous book, he even had a woman’s hand chopped off as a joke.
As with the first book, this one is considered “politically incorrect.” Maybe I’m just jaded, but I didn’t think this one was that bad. Yes, Ian sleeps with Alanna and takes her virginity when she’s drugged and unable to consent, but he didn’t hurt her and she was awake enough to moan in pleasure, even though she thought the experience was a wonderful dream. I agree what he did was wrong, but I’ve read much worse in other books.
I wish Sebastian and Mary from book one would’ve made an appearance. Ian’s cousin, Wilda, was here, and she’s more childish than I remember. Still, I liked the development of her character. I enjoyed the history of the Selkies, the description of the Highland landscape, and the H/h’s romance once they finally worked through their differences. I would’ve liked an epilogue or some detail about how the Selkie pact will change since the death of one of the guardians. There’s one more book in the series, a novella in the Scottish Brides anthology, and I look forward to reading it.
3 Stars

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