Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: The Rules of Engagement by Jillian Leigh

Click here to get this book on Amazon.

When he was in his 20s, Hugh Trevelyan didn't think he was ready to marry and so he invented a sickly, shy, retiring fiancee who conveniently lives in the country to ward off the marriage-minded and allow Hugh to enjoy all the delights London has to offer. Now in his 30s, Hugh is ready to settle down and he's found the perfect woman to do so, very perfect Lucy Meriweather -- his only problem is, he is still officially engaged. He's already broken it off but his Lucy isn't satisfied with Hugh's word and demands to meet his ex.

Hugh's in a bind and there's only one woman he can think of who can save him: his dearest childhood friend, Amelia Grant. What Hugh doesn't know is that Amelia has loved him all her life and has waited and waited and waited for Hugh to come to his senses -- but it seems he never will. So Amelia does what all friends do and goes to London to help him.

And this is how Jillian Leigh sets the stage for her own comedy of errors story, The Rules of Engagement.

I enjoyed reading Hugh and Amelia's misadventures and I loved that the whole novel hinges on dramatic irony: the heroine is crazy-in-love with the hero but he doesn't have a clue! I love how the author builds up on this with the dialogue and the encounters between them -- and as a reader, I kept waiting for that moment when Hugh would realize what he has in front of him.

...Her gaze drifted over his face, down to his lips. Her own parted. It was as if she ... wanted ... him to kiss her.

He bent toward her, drawn by her seductive almond eyes and her mouth begging to be kissed and the reassuring fragrance of clean linen that lingered in the air and reminded him of home.

Then he froze.

What the hell was he doing?

This was his dearest friend, a lady whom he'd known since he was a pimply soprano. A lady who was worthy of better treatment than this.

Even if Amelia weren't an old friend, he was engaged to another woman, damn it. A woman he'd thought was the most delectable creature in Christendom until a moment ago.

What was wrong with him?
- loc 445 - 454

When Hugh's cousin Aubrey is added to the mix, things get even more interesting and more complicated for all parties involved: Aubrey develops a slight crush on Amelia -- causing Hugh to feel something that can only be described as jealousy.

As with all comedies of errors stories, the merry-go-round of "misdirection" and misunderstanding ensue as Hugh chases after Lucy and Lucy tries to figure out Amelia and Aubrey chases after Amelia who tries not to let her feelings for Hugh affect her as she watches him court Lucy. Jillian Leigh carefully controls the whirl of events, always keeping her focus on the hero and heroine -- always reminding the readers that these two characters share something special.

This was a very fun read: quick-paced and nicely written -- the ending (read: Hugh's epiphany) is a bit rushed but the author accomplishes her goal in getting him and Amelia together. Altogether satisfying. ^_^

My favorite character in this story, believe it or not, is Lucy -- who isn't as vapid or shallow as she believes she is. (Read: her conversation with Amelia from loc 582 - 703) ^_^

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes. Many thanks to Jillian for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.


  1. Hi, Tin! Thanks for sharing your great review of “The Rules of Engagement.” I’m adding this to my Wish List and cannot wait to read it!

  2. Hi, Connie!

    Thank you for your comment! I'm glad you found a new book for your TBR. ^_^

    Happy reading!



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