Reviewed by May
Gavin Norwood aka Viscount Kendale suspects the woman he keeps following may be a spy, and he was once nearly killed because of a traitorous French woman. In fact he’s on a vigilante style mission Marielle knows he’s watching her and thinks her a spy, but she is just a daughter trying to get justice for her father who is trapped back in France. Her methods might be passive aggressive and very convoluted, but she’s got a plan and she will stick with it no matter what.
Is it a recipe for romance?
The author obviously thinks so since she wrote this story, however I never found any heat, romance, or real passion in this lackluster tale. Oh there are plentiful sex scenes but I found them to be uninspired and they served only to annoy me further.
I’m a fan of this author – I’ve really loved some of her past books. This one though, it had a cool detachment and a lack of compelling dialogue and action that had me just wishing for the story to end.
Problem #1: the heroine’s air of mystery
She’s trying to get a man back in France (who has come into some power) looked into, imprisoned, and otherwise busted from his current position of power. She has her reasons, which she does not want to share with anyone. The problem with this is that the whole “what secrets she’s hiding and why” is a major letdown. The hero doesn’t care, the government won’t care, and I was let down by the lack of scandal, intrigue, and depth to her secrets.
He would allow himself to know her for pleasure thoroughly and friendship partially. He would give her affection, but nothing deeper. Unless she were honest with him. Totally honest. Then she might have everything.
Problem #2: We like this hero, why?
He’s doing some secretive private army type stuff, he’s on a mission for revenge, he hates society and the silliness – but why do we like him? What makes him such a swoon-worthy romance hero? I never figured that answer out. I have read the previous books by this author but nothing in this story clicked or connected in my memory that had me remembering why we would like this guy or what made him a character I wanted to know better. Perhaps if we’d been given more than a glimpse at his vigilante/private army building tendencies, if we could have gotten to know him on more than a superficial level things would have come together better. At the very least, it would have made the story more interesting and given us a richer story to dig into.
Problem #3: They are going to be together, because reasons.
I can give you no concrete reason for this couple to become man and wife. As in – there was never a specific reason, it was never made clear why he suddenly trusts her, or why theirs is more than an in-lust connection. I couldn’t believe that he just shrugs one moment and falls into bed with her considering his past, and I felt like she was calculating and on her own agenda (not into him for real). I didn’t feel a connection between them, I didn’t see why they would come together as anything but people who have friends in common.
Problem #4: Things just didn’t come together.
I stuck with this book because I figured that the author would bring it all together, tie things up in a way that made sense and helped me understand the characters and their motivations better. This did not happen, in fact, I was really let down by the pieces of the puzzle that had been hidden during the story.
I’m being hard on this book, yes. Quite simply it just didn’t work for me and I couldn’t find anything to connect to or reason to fall in love with it. This is one of those books where I could see it working for some people quite well, the story does move right along and is told nicely in its own way, but I know how good a romance like this can be. I know that the story and the characters could have been much more compelling, that we could have been let inside their heads more and given more insight, and that it could have been so much more romantic.