If the Viscount Falls is the final installment of Jeffries’ The Duke’s Men quartet, and it happens to be the story that I was most looking forward to. Readers have been getting hints in each book about the history between Dom Manton and Jane Vernon, and we finally get to learn what that history is here.
Dom and Jane were once engaged to be married; however, when Dom’s brother cut him off, Dom conspired to force Jane to jilt him so that he wouldn’t drag her down into poverty. Kissing another woman will do that. This betrayal cut Jane deeply and neither party has forgotten the past. When Jane’s cousin, Dom’s brother’s widow, goes missing Jane turns to the one man that can help her find Nancy, even if it means risking her heart all over again.
Dom’s not sure if he’s happy that Jane’s approached him after all these years, but he’s never gotten over her. Now that he’s the viscount, Dom actually has something to offer Jane (other than poverty). The question is whether Jane will accept his renewed affections. If only she didn’t have a fiancé already waiting in the wings…
As I said, I have been waiting for this book. This anticipation can be a dangerous thing as there’s the risk that the book will not live up to your expectations. Happily, this was not the case in If the Viscount Falls. This was a great end to the quartet. It was sweet and sappy and I read it in one sitting, if that doesn’t say satisfaction, I don’t know what does.
I have to admit that I found the familial bickering and nosiness surrounding Dom and his siblings completely endearing. In real life, I don’t think I’d want to have these meddling siblings, but in fiction it doesn’t seem intrusive, it really just seems rather sweet. Both of Dom’s half siblings, Lisette and Tristan (both of whom have had their own book) are conspiring to get Dom and Jane back together, and when Jane doesn’t act as she ought, they are quick to come to Dom’s defense. The family dynamics in If the Viscount Falls reminds me a lot of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, so fans of Quinn will be sure to enjoy this one.
The romance between Dom and Jane was also very well executed. Often when the “reunited” theme comes up in romance there is too much reliance on past feelings between the hero and heroine that readers don’t generally get a full picture of the current relationship. In the case of If the Viscount Falls the Dom and Jane have been separated for twelve years; arguably they are different people from when they were engaged. I liked the fact that this change was acknowledged and meant that these two had to get to know each other in a new way; learn what was still the same and what had changed over the years. They were kids anymore, and they also had to deal with the mistakes (i.e. impulsive and dictatorial decisions) that they made when they were young. Again, I thought that the past was dealt with effectively and believably. Gotta love it when both parties realize that they’ve made mistakes.
I also loved that the author introduced a whole new storyline in the book with Jane’s rather stuffy fiancé and his apparently unmarriageable sister. Blakeborough doesn’t get a lot of screen time here, but from what I saw, his story is just begging to be told, too bad it looks like we’ll be getting his sister’s story first in The Art of Sinning. Or not, I’ll take what I can get when it comes to Sabrina Jefries!
What can I say? I loved When a Viscount Falls. It was exactly the kind of sweet and adorable story that I was in the mood for. I am convinced that Jeffries’ fans will love this one!
The only thing that I can think that would be negative about this one is that it might be too sweet for some readers. Everything is resolved quite nicely for the hero and heroine, and I think perhaps, this could be somewhat unbelievable for some romance readers. Generally, I’m not drawn to books that put their hero and heroine through the wringer before they get their happily ever after; I like happier and lighter books, which this one is. So, I think readers should be aware of that going in. But, if you’re a reader that likes the lighter side of romance, If the Viscount Falls fits the bill and gives a nice little intrigue plot to boot! Jeffries remains one of my very favourite historical romance authors.
*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
If you liked the intrigue plot as well as the reunited lovers trope, Tracey Devlyn’s Night Storm is an excellent choice as a follow up. The heroine and hero were childhood sweethearts and now, years later, they find themselves thrown together. What’s interesting about this one is that it’s the start of a series, and this couple’s story is left unfinished at the end of Night Storm. But this is not a bad thing!
For a more emotional and angsty “reunited” storyline, Anna Randol’s Sins of a Ruthless Rogue is another excellent choice (the intrigue plot is also a bonus). This time round it’s the heroine that does the betraying of the hero.
As I mentioned in my review, Dom’s siblings reminded me of the playfulness of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, so of course I had to include a recommendation here. There are many books to choose from, so I’m going to make this simple and choose the first, The Duke and I. This one is not a “reunited” story, but I think the fact that misunderstands abound will appeal to fans of If the Viscount Falls.