Review: The Last Offer (The Dunne Family #1) by Chasity Bowlin - .Red Wine & Books

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Review: The Last Offer (The Dunne Family #1) by Chasity Bowlin


Print Length: 219 pages
Publisher: Chasity Bowlin (August 22, 2016)

From Goodreads.com:  Miss Olivia Dunne was the darling of society until a thwarted abduction and elopement scheme by an unscrupulous man left her reputation in tatters. But having moved from paragon to pariah, Olivia realizes that there is no reason for her to continue abiding by society’s mandates. In fact, she decides to embrace her scandalous nature and do the very thing she’s been accused of… take a lover. The man she’s chosen is one she’s secretly loved for years, but she’ll need to employ the aid of an unlikely ally to carry it off.

Lord Burke, Viscount Holland, has loved Olivia for years. He even offered for her once, only to be summarily dismissed by her older brother, his oldest friend. With his pride still stinging, Burke is confronted with the horrible truth that Olivia had never rejected him at all. Her brother never told her of Burke’s interest in her. But if he tells her now, she’ll take it for pity and reject him out of hand. The only way to make her his wife is to first accept her offer to be his mistress.

But not everyone wishes to see the couple achieve a happy ending. Some will do whatever it takes to keep them apart. Can true love prevail or will pride and greed conspire to keep them apart forever?

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I definitely feel like this book needed to be longer. There was just too much crammed into such a short amount of time that I don't feel like any one particular piece was as fully developed as it could have been. 

Olivia has no sense of self-preservation as knowing that there are men who tried to abduct her lurking in London, she still flees the safety of Burke's home in Bath when he tries to propose. Although, there had to have been an easier way of a man to get a wealthy wife than by trying to have her kidnapped twice. I also wish she had done her villain justice, it was wholly disappointing to have him keel over of a heart-attack. I would have loved to have seen Olivia whack him before Burke burst in to rescue her. 

I also wasn't sure why Burke thought he was in love with Olivia (and had claimed to have been for years, so much so that he changed his entire personality to be a better man for her). I would have liked to have seen more of their early friendship before the first botched kidnapping attempt. I also would have liked to have "seen" evidence of Olivia being considered ruined, even though she was a victim, and what finally pushed her over the edge into considering taking a lover. 

One thing that bothered me about her plan, is that she not only openly tells her brother what she plans on, and who she plans on choosing, but then her brother runs along and tells the man in question what she is planning. Who knows how Burke would have reacted initially had he not been forewarned. The brother then goes a step forward and essentially not only gives his blessing, but proceeds to give him advice on what not to do (in this case reveal the fact that he supposedly was in love with her). 

Another thing that kind of annoyed me about this story was the fact that when Burke does confess his feelings (and man do I wish we had gotten more scenes of them together before he spilled the beans), Olivia immediately rejects him saying that she was a fallen woman, and even though he had quite the scandalous past himself, he had become "better" and she didn't want to "ruin" him. In fact, she barely let him explain that he didn't care for what society thought, something that she should have been happy about considering how little she claimed to care for society herself. 

Despite the things I mentioned above, I do believe this story will appeal to others more than it did to me. And I would give this author another chance.

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                                                                      The Last Offer is available from Amazon.com
                                                                    (for free if your subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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