Top critical review
Characters Unbelievable and At Times Unlikeable
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 6, 2020
I have read several books by this author, and I usually enjoy her historical romances immensely. Unfortunately, that was not the case with this book. I just didn't see a proper romantic arc happening between the couple. Both seemed to fly off the handle rather quickly, each declaring mentally several times that the other had never loved him or her because of one action or inaction in the present or past. At times, they acted and thought more like moody teens than the mature thirtysomethings they were Their relationship seemed to bobble between unrestrained passion (though I felt no chemistry between them) and cold distance caused by secrets and misunderstandings. The two aspects just didn't jibe for me. And whenever they swung to the lows, the same exact thoughts ran through each of their heads each time. The author didn't vary their emotional or mental response to whatever was happening. This made the characters two dimensional, not quite believable, relatable, and even at times unlikable. Each character had a big secret, and their reactions to their reveals were overblown and irrational. Especially for the hero, who left without a goodbye some years before, his response to her in general and to her secret seems way out of bounds. He's the one who left! He couldn't have expected her to carry a torch for him forever when he's the one that made that choice so long ago after just three days together. I first liked the idea of a cousin (who inherited the heroine’s brother’s title) who wasn't the bad guy from the start, as they usually are in Regency stories where the heroine is left behind after a father or brother dies, but the author even had to make that abnormal twist not be what it seemed. And after all that happened in the suspense part of the book, I could not quite believe the heroine’s reaction at the culmination. Seriously, didn't she care in the least that the guy she stayed back with, spurning the hero after his secret reveal, had attempted murder several times? Seriously! I don't like it when the heroines act stupid, and this one did several times in the book, but especially at this last point. While I adore many of this author's books, this one left me cold on several counts.
I received a free copy of this book, but that did not affect my review.