SUMMARY (from Goodreads): Lucinda Barrett’s best friends ended up married to the men to whom they delivered their “lessons in love”. So Lucinda decides to choose someone who definitely needs lessons, but someone who will not complicate her life. And that person is definitely not Robert Carroway.
Robert is nothing if not complicated, and though he is a brother of a viscount, he rarely goes about society, and finds the weather and hat fashions ludicrous subjects for discussion. Robert is attracted to Lucinda’s unpretentious ways, her serenity and her kindness. When she chooses someone for her love lessons, Robert offers to help her deliver her lessons, but sets out to convince the woman he has fallen for to take a chance on love ... and on him.
This was a nice relaxation read, interesting enough to read it smoothly through but not too complicated to spend too much energy contemplating it.
Lucinda is a pleasant girl, well-mannered, very attentive towards her old father and generally a likable character. She is polite, compassionate, able to think for herself, but I had a feeling there was something missing. Perhaps it was her calculated choosing of a man who would make a good husband from purely practical reasons, or it was her too quick a surrender to Robert, or perhaps her slow acknowledgment of her feelings and her naïve trust into her father.
I am fine with the heroine having faults, after all faults make a character intriguing. However, I have problems with the fact that her choices and her change are not supported with enough arguments to make her completely credible.
Despite the slight weakness of Lucinda’s character, the book is well worth reading for the sake of Robert Carroway. He is a suffering figure, an ex-soldier who returned home wounded both physically and mentally from the Napoleonic wars. The memories of war torture him and cloak him in darkness, so he stays at home and rarely speaks, which earns him a reputation of a lunatic in the society.
Lucinda is the first person who treats Robert with compassion and sympathy but at the same time does not tip-toe around him as his family members do. Their re-encounter is what firstly encourages him to try to return to life again. Robert’s journey from his seclusion and his emotional pain to revival and love is very well developed. It is compelling to observe the struggle between his fears and the pure effort of his will he has to put in to regain his life.
In the end, England’s Perfect Hero is both an easy book you read to unwind and an absorbing life story with some well written laughable scenes.
RECOMMENDATION: If you want to read a book which doesn’t take a lot of your time and effort, but still captures your imagination, this is just the kind of book I recommend.