The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress by Victoria AlexanderPublished April 28th 2015 by Zebra
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 2 Stars
Reviewed on March 23, 2015
Swim naked in the moonlight
Play in a high stakes card game
Ride an elephant
Be painted sans clothing.
Take a lover. . .
Lucy Merryweather has inherited a fortune--and her great-aunt's list of unfulfilled wishes. What better way to honor her memory than by accomplishing as many of them as possible? And with Lucy's family an ocean away in New York, nothing stands in her way--if one ignores the private investigator hired to spy on her.
Yet Cameron Effington is infuriatingly difficult to ignore. . .
As a reporter, Cameron is always looking for a good story. An American heiress running rampant between Millworth Manor and Mayfair is the perfect subject. Not to mention captivating. And extremely kissable. And if Lucy believes he's a detective? Well, the truth should never get in the way of a good story--or hinder delicious, impetuous passion. . .
On the day Lucinda turns twenty-one, she also turns into an heiress when she gains access to her fortune. However, her aunt, who Lucinda was named after, leaves behind more than a fortune. She leaves a book of regrets— challenges and dares she never had the courage to take on because they are considered improper and scandalous in society’s eyes. Now close to the age of twenty-four, Lucinda combines her aunt’s list with her own and sets out on the journey of a lifetime, an adventure that very well may ruin a lady’s reputation and break her heart if she’s not too careful.
The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress isn’t at all a bad story. It’s quite humorous and lighthearted, and not full of that round-and-round angst that goes nowhere. However, the idea of the story is far more exciting and attractive than the content. Don’t get me wrong. There is no rest for the brilliant ideas and events that Victoria Alexander write, but the brilliance doesn’t shine when everything is rushed, causing the grand quest to lose its spark, the romance to be contrived, and the hero and heroine to be both distasteful.
What sounded and started out as a promising book went downhill as soon as I was no less than 100 pages in.
These “adventures” that Lucy embarks aren’t all that fun and exhilarating and come off as unreal when she isn’t concerned about getting caught and her thrill and triumph are nonexistent. On her adventures, the experiences are underwhelming and disappointing because they focus more on people’s insights of her. Cameron, in particular. After a while, I began to believe the adventures are excuses to flaunt Lucy.
Which leads me to point out: while Lucy is an amusing and chirpy heroine to follow, I received little encouragement to care about her, especially when the author never fails to remind me how interesting and impressive Lucy is— she has such a good sound of character, she has personality and ambitions, she’s very clever and clever and clever, she can be “reckless” but not “impulsive,” she’s kind and doesn’t judge, she wants to be independent and the desire is oh so ahead of her times, everyone who meets Lucy instantly like hers. There are plenty of dialogues and descriptions that are repetitive; as if the author is afraid I’ll forget how likable, unique, honorable, and intelligent Lucy is.
I’m not saying Lucy doesn’t have flaws because she does. She’s naïve, trusts too easily, and is conceited about her belief that she doesn’t make errors in her judgments. She’s quick to jump to conclusions that all men are sexist and even women she’s acquainted with don’t think females can’t take care of themselves and . . . she is quick to convince she’s an exception. However, these flaws are displayed more as assets to why people like her and less as flaws. Lucy is rather too bold and naïve for me to consider her actions believable because she’s obviously been sheltered her whole life AND more importantly, she’s an inexperienced innocent. She prides on being rational, but she is not the least bit rational and is terribly stupid, arrogant, and stubborn to the end of exhaustion. Take flight or fight? It’s whatever pride decides. Her lack of self-preservation is astonishing. Her failure to think sensibly but not come up with useful thoughts is mind-boggling. Her self-assurance is a brick wall I couldn’t wait to break down because everyone knows there’s no sense talking to a brick wall. Bottom fact: there really isn’t a real risk for Lucy because she has no fear, and without stakes, it results in readers having scarcely any fear and support for wanting to see the heroine succeed.
On the other hand, I enjoyed Lucy and can relate to the reality that a person of small statue and lively disposition shouldn’t be underestimated. That’s about it. About halfway through, I became annoyed with her and gave up on liking her. Let me rant about this: (view spoiler)[There is this scene where Lucy plans to confront the publisher of Cadwellender’s Daily Messenger . . .
“I’ve spent my entire life allowing events to unfold as it were. I’m not going to sit around and wait to see what happens next. This is my future at stake, after all.” Lucy thought for a moment. “I simply want to make sure he understands that should my name become connected with his paper’s stories, I will be very, very, very angry.”
. . . and threaten and bribe him. What the actual fuck? She’s going to make things worse. She’ll probably be the ONLY American Heiress to confront him about this and then what? He’ll definitely know for certain that the fictitious character is her because what other American will go to great lengths? She’s so fucking stupid, I swear. The man is making money off your adventures and he doesn’t need to know it. How much can you offer him that will be greater than how much he makes off your story and if he reveals your secret?
And let’s not forget that Cameron accompanied her. WHY DID IT NOT CROSS HER MIND ONCE THAT HE WAS THE WRITER OR MAYBE AT LEAST TIED TO THE WRITER? I can’t believe for one second that any decent human being wouldn’t have suspected Cameron and guessed his identity. He is the only other person who’s capable of knowing so many details about Lucy’s adventures and this is what makes the American woman stupid because she didn’t figured it out when she had every reason to suspect him. (hide spoiler)]
For me, not liking a heroine is worse than hating a hero. I can overlook the worst heroes in the world as long as I still root for the heroine’s happiness. As I already mentioned, I found it difficult to root for Lucy. Hence, seemingly there is no effect on my desire to root for the hero either.
Cameron is not by far the worst deceitful and self-serving hero I’ve met, but he is a different kind of idiot who drags out the deception and takes miscommunication to a whole new level. Mistaken identity? “Oh, let me just assume this identity you gave me.” Fabricating stories on the spot? “I can do that! I’m a writer and I need to prove myself.” Tell the truth before someone else reveals my lies? “No. Let’s wait it out until it’s too late. I don’t want you to hear the truth from me so my betrayal can be bigger. I need you as furious as you can be with my manipulation.”
You, sir, can go— Bleep. Bleep. Bleep. Bleep.
Essentially, my main problems with The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress are the underwhelming adventures and the characters, which I had no connection with or care for whatsoever. I generally don’t mind pathetic characters and can accept drama with grace, but sometimes enough is enough and I can’t stand the drama in this book nor its characters because 1) There is no character growth, 2) Lucy's full personality is established matter-of-factly the moment we meet her and then the rest of the book is spent reminding me how amazing she is, 3) The actions and consequences are too convenient, and 4) I don’t see the point of this book. The drama, the romance, the story drags out like how I will drag my spoiled four-year-old niece away from the toy aisle. And speaking of romance, I repeat: I didn’t fall for it. There is no chemistry between the hero and heroine.
Cameron isn’t the only one who needs to keep up with his role. There is Clara, and although I won’t go into details about her identity, I will say I knew it was suspicious that Lucy and Clara hit it off and got on amazingly. By the end, out of everyone and everything, Clara was the only character I could tolerate.
The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress is a fluffy and not-so-adventurous read, with a ending too blandly sweet for my liking. (view spoiler)[I will, however, applaud Lucy for walking away from Cameron and throwing funny, snide remarks at him. Also, I will slap her for the “chase.” (hide spoiler)]
If you want a romantic, steamy, super fun, and truly adventurous read that is slightly similar to The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress, I would highly recommend Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean.