I read this book for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2017 Reading Challenge. For more info about what this is, click here.
I have to say, it feels weird reading a romance about Christmas in April. Kind of like if you were to go to the grocery store, looking for adorable chocolate eggs for the kiddies, and happened upon a dusty red-and-green package of candy canes. You can't help asking yourself, "How long have these been here? Is it even any good?"
I've only read one book by Meredith Duran. It was FOOL ME TWICE. I really enjoyed that book, because it employed one of my guilty pleasure tropes (Byronic hero falls in love with his servant). I couldn't wait to start SWEETEST REGRET. My expectations were incredibly high. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but how could a book with a cover like that possibly be bad?
SWEETEST REGRET is not a full-length book, which I could have found out more quickly if I had bothered to look up the book beforehand. I did not. The story revolves around "Georgie," the daughter of a British diplomat. He's hosting a number of European guests for the holidays but is called away to Constantinople last minute on business. In his absence, he gives Georgie the task of searching through the guests' rooms for a letter of the utmost importance, which he claims that one of them has in all likelihood stolen.
Also tasked with The Purloined Letter Caper is Georgie's father's protegee, Lucas Godwin. Awkwardly enough, Lucas and Georgie have a history together. They were very much involved two years ago until Lucas abruptly ceased all contact with her, thereby breaking her heart.
This is a second-chance romance with a "twist" ending that's reminiscent of THE NOTEBOOK and made me think that Georgie's father was an arse weasel. For a foreign diplomat to do what he did, well, that's just asking for an international incident, don't you think? It was difficult to be too angry, though. The story is much too short for the reader to get very emotionally involved in Georgie and Lucas's affairs. Short stories are difficult to pull off. Even authors I like, like Alyssa Cole, can't always pull them off. Courtney Milan is one of the few romance authors whose short stories truly excel, and yet even she has her misses as well. And Duran is no Milan when it comes to short stories.
SWEETEST REGRET is a harmless, fluffy romance with a bizarre plot that traverses the line between nonsensical and amusing. The Christmas theme makes it ideal for romance challenges like the one I am currently participating in, and the length ensures that even if it is not an enjoyable read, it will at least be a quick one. I have read worse, though, and both of these characters were decent and likable, despite their blandness. If you're looking for something short and sweet, you could certainly do far worse. Do check out FOOL ME TWICE, though. It's much, much better than this!
2 out of 5 stars