I Fell Hard for this Friends to Lovers Historical Romance!
First to Fall Book Cover First to Fall
Bartholomew series (Book 1)
Laney Hatcher
Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Victorian Romance
Independently Published
May 24, 2022
ebook, paperback

Emery Bartholomew has a plan.

With the pressure to marry and make a fine match in London, any self-respecting outsider would be looking for an escape. But when her best friend finds himself in need of a rescue, Emery realizes their goals could be one and the same.

A fake betrothal to one’s best friend seems like the obvious solution, but Augustus isn’t so sure about Emery’s scheme. Through reluctant agreement, the two friends embark on a journey destined for the altar, but something changes along the way. And very real feelings get involved.

When the path to the future is filled with more twists and turns than a hedge maze, perhaps the plan is no longer so simple. Intentions get tangled and hearts get bruised.

Can this fake marriage stay just that? Or will Emery’s heart be the first to fall?

Book #1 in the Bartholomew series follows the fake-relationship and marriage of convenience between two lifelong best friends. First to Fall is a full length historical romance filled with charm and wit, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

“Are you going to propose or shall I do it myself?” Ah Christ.

Laney Hatcher is new on the romance scene but she already has made a name for herself by writing and releasing two historical romances that have heroines that are as fierce as they headstrong, heroes that could give even Mr. Darcy a run for his money, and Happily Ever After endings that are brilliantly wonderful.

First to Fall is her first indie historical romance, a standalone in a new series. Emery and Augie are childhood best friends who were separated due to convention of the society at the time, but now are recently reunited. We first meet Augie as he is woefully underprepared to deal with Emery’s schemes of marriage in order to avoid any and all social engagements that her mother has in store for her in London society. While Emery doesn’t know it, we find out that Augie has been head over heels in love with Emery for years. His time away from her has only made his feelings more pronounced. This poor besotted man. He truly thinks that being married to Emery would be a dream come true but he fears that she would never return his more amorous feelings.

“One of the benefits of decades of friendship was being able to give what the other needed without even being asked.” 

Emery is such a beguiling character. She flings herself headfirst into situations and worries about repercussions later. While in her head she sees the logic behind marrying her best friend, she cannot understand why Augie would be so reluctant to marry her when everything just makes sense. Emery sees everything in black and white whereas Augie sees the shades in between. But it’s with her impulsiveness that leads her to kiss Augie which then clicks everything into place. While in her head she sees logic, in her heart she knows it’s love.

I love how easy Augie and Emery are with each other. Through a series of very surprising plot twists, they both must learn to overcome what they had expected for their futures in order to embrace the future that fate has for them instead. What I admired most about Emery and Augie is that not only do they continually communicate with each other through each of the various plot twists, but they also have supporting characters around them gently nudging each of them back on the right path.

“Why would you want to make yourself smaller? Do we ask the sun to dim its light?”

If you’re a fan of historical romances, then you will undoubtedly love First to Fall. I was completely enchanted from the very first page. I loved how even if the story gave twists and turns Augie and Emery’s feelings remained true and steadfast in their friendship and then grew in their romance. What a completely refreshing and romantic story! First to Fall is now available today! Happy Release Day!