Review: The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries starts a new series (after recently concluding her popular School for Heiresses series) with The Truth About Lord Stoneville.  The Hellions of Halstead Hall is about five scandalous siblings who are given an ultimatum by their purse-string-holding grandmother to marry within the year. This is the eldest, Oliver's, story.

I have to say, having read most of Sabrina Jeffries's backlist that this novel was quite a bit darker than most of her other books. The book begins with a nasty murder-suicide. And much of the emotional drama is the natural fallout of that tragedy.

While I wouldn't classify this as the best Jeffries book I've ever read, it was definitely enjoyable. The hero was a bit annoying with his self-flagellation, but that's to be expected. And I did enjoy both the heroine, Maria, and her cousin. I really liked how compassionate Maria was. How willing she was to give Oliver the benefit of the doubt. The theme's a little trite--naive, refreshing American absolves rake of his real and imagined sins and reforms him--but the characters, as always, keep this from becoming yet another one of THOSE novels.

Quite a bit of time is taken to set up not just this book but the rest of the series--which tends to drag down the pacing a little. There's also the rushed ending, which seemed a bit anti-climactic. Overall, though, this was a good, if different, book for Ms. Jeffries, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

My Grade: B-

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