To say I’m not a hunter would be an understatement. Even though I grew up in the South, my father, grandfathers, and brothers did not hunt or fish, so I was never introduced to that culture. I met my husband, and he doesn’t hunt either, and we went on our merry way not hunting. At some point, my father-in-law and brother-in-law (both very enthusiastic hunters), introduced our oldest son to hunting and fishing. He loves the outdoors and he fell in love with hunting and fishing. I have to admit, I’m not entirely comfortable with hunting, but I do understand the appeal. Being out in the woods or on the lake is calming, relaxing, and renewing all at the same time. And I also love the camaraderie and bonding they experience spending that time together.
This new historical romance series by Pamela Labud centers around the romantic adventures of a group of confirmed bachelors belonging to a hunting club in the forest south of London. To Catch a Lady is the first book in the series, and it has lots of details that sparked my interest. The female protagonist, Caro, is intelligent, concerned with female rights, and a follower of Mary Wollstonecraft. Her love interest, while very oblivious to female concerns, is good at heart. Both have secrets in their past that define who they are today. The plot promises hilarious hijinks and misunderstandings. The Duke must find a wife before his aunt goes into overdrive with the match-making, so he takes matters into his own hands. He hosts a ball and lottery to choose his wife, and then writes a contract outlining the terms of the marriage. Caro unwillingly attends the ball in order to sponsor her beautiful younger sisters as a potential wife for the Duke. Events conspire to cause Caro and the Duke to marry that night.
I really wanted to like this book. All the ingredients were there, but unfortunately, I just couldn’t fall in love with it. A lot of the dialogue fell flat for me. I like my historical romance filled with witty banter. I just didn’t find it here. And, the stop and start of the relationship got exasperating after a while. I found myself rolling my eyes and sighing when the one of the lovebirds would get mad (yet again) and storm off. The skeletons in both their closets definitely explained their behavior, to a certain extent, but it felt like the book just kept repeating itself with the “will they or won’t they” stuff.
However, it isn’t all irritating, the love scenes are well written, and definitely not cheesy. One in particular was very creative and well written. I also really enjoyed some of the side characters, especially the Duke’s aunt and Caro’s sister.
So for me, this book is a mixed bag. It’s definitely not bad, but for me, there are just some things I couldn’t get past (too much on again and off again, not enough witty banter). However, if those are not deal breakers for you, then you may want to give it a try!