An English manor home with secrets. A family history mired in murder and mayhem. And a steamy romance just waiting to erupt...
Before I get into anything at all about this book, I'd like to state for the record that I'm still a Kristen Ashley mega fan. Not a single month goes by without me reading a new KA book or rereading an old favorite for comfort. So if this is the first review of mine/others that you're seeing for a book from this author, I encourage you to check out my other reviews. Just because this one didn't become a new 5-star favorite read of mine doesn't reflect on my very high ratings of her other books. Check those out, and try this one for yourself!
Daphne Ryan, American billionaire heiress to her retail tycoon father, is on her way to a remote English manor house with her stepmom, Lou. They're both not looking forward to their destination. But family duty calls....
Portia is Daphne's spoiled younger sister. The one who's a pain in the ass, pouts and acts out to get what she wants, and is constantly at odds with her sister because according to their late father's iron-clad will, it is Daphne and Lou who hold the strings to Portia's inheritance.
Portia's asked Daphne and Lou to come to Duncroft, the English estate of her new boyfriend and his family, to impress the parents and show off how well she's doing in life to get Daphne to loosen the noose on her money. They've been invited for an entire week. No distractions—just Portia, her family, and David's entire family. At Duncroft.
Mhmm, awkward yet?
Add into the mix: Ian Alcott. David's older, sexier brother. Ian hates his role in the aristocracy, he's had enough of David and Portia's bullshit, and he's been invited to stir up further trouble. And he's got his eyes on new prey... Daphne.
But Duncroft isn't just a silent setting for this complex family drama played out over one idyllic week. This manor house has secrets, and it goes bump in the night. And it has some unsolved mysteries that it wants solved.
Daphne and Ian are about to get a whole lot more than they bargained for in this week. And it's going to get steamy...
Too Good to Be True was an entertaining read. Kind of like spending a fun week with characters playing house in those stately estates featured in our favorite British TV shows and movies, I enjoyed the vibes of this story a lot. Who murdered the mistress off of the balcony? Was it the lord of the manor in the Turquoise Room? The younger brother in the Brandy Room? Etc. Etc. As a Clue, Pride and Prejudice, and Agatha Christie fan, I had a very fun time with these fun little details and the engaging mini-mysteries.
In terms of the actual plot and romance—sigh, okay, you've got me. I had a slightly harder time here.
I think it was the fact that this full-length novel was originally written as a Kindle Vella. The mini-episodic story structure—Vellas are produced in short segments, like old newspaper story installments, over time—was definitely still at play here in this longer novel. As a marathon/endurance reader who reads books in as few sessions as possible, this was a hard sell for me as I was very aware of that structure going in and it felt like it repeated its own structure ad nauseum in the middle of the narrative.
However, that being said, I think this a fun read for those who just want to rest their brain a while with these fun characters in a very classic setting. There's a dash of mystery, a dash of historical, a dash of family drama, and a dash of steamy romance. It is a very fun sampler platter of a lot of good tropes!
Thank you to the author for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
Amy Imogene Reads
Just someone looking for her own door into Wonderland.