Inconceivable! began with such promise. Hatty is an enterprising college student in a foreign country. She has great friends, a good support system back home, and a drive to succeed in journalism. The first few chapters are brilliantly crafted. But this a tale of two diametrically opposed Hattys and the Hatty of the novel’s beginning quickly disappears. After Hatty meets a handsome member of the country’s royal family, she loses herself until she becomes wholly unrecognizable. For all of Hatty’s determination to grow as a woman and have a career, she fully immerses herself into the prince’s world. While character’s frequently change in some way from the beginning of a novel to the end, they also must do so plausibly and Tegan Wren failed to develop Hatty or the plot in such a way for the change to make sense. Furthermore, Hatty’s mother makes an about-face without explanation as well. The plot of Inconceivable! gets worse after Hatty’s royal wedding as she becomes wholly obsessed with providing an heir to the throne. This devolves into slut-shaming (despite Hatty only having had one partner before her husband) and demanding medical procedures (which are presented as being Hatty’s choice, but are clearly required given the threat of an annulment). Wren tries to redeem it all at the end, but it is another out-of-nowhere turn and too little, too late.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Curiosity Quills.