Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars (Actually 3.5 Stars)
Series: Mail Order Brides #4
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
My rating would actually be 3.5, but I rounded up to 4 because I really did enjoy the story.
The story follows Marcus Wharton, Duke of Blackthorne and American Josie Wentworth. It has a really exciting beginning with Marcus and his best friend coming upon a Sioux renegade whipping a young woman (Josie) who is tied to a post and stripped to the waist. She’s almost dead and Marcus rescues her. Marcus is fascinated by the girl’s bravery and instead of leaving her in the care of someone in America, he brings her aboard the ship he is taking back to England. However, when he gets there, he turns the arrangements for her care and eventual return to America up to his best friend. Since Marcus is marrying his best friend’s sister as soon as they return to England, he doesn’t want his rescue of the girl to cause any issue with Fanny – his betrothed. Things really go awry from there – Fanny dies, Josie has been virtually imprisoned on one of Marcus’ properties (without his knowledge), Marcus’ estate is bankrupt and he has to marry an heiress. The rest of the story is filled with Marcus and Josie getting together and falling in love. I won’t give you a step-by-step because that will spoil the story for you.
What didn’t I like?
- The author really needed to do more research. Evidently, she normally writes westerns or contemporary novels and that is probably why this book just doesn’t ‘feel’ right for the time period and the place. A couple of examples of where more research would help.
- Marcus is NOT a royal duke, but the author mentions that over and over and over in the book. In order to be a ROYAL DUKE he must be the son or grandson of the current reigning monarch and the story doesn’t say anything about that at all.
- Spencer and Clay are not Lord’s. As children of a second son, they would be plain Spencer and Clay. They do not have an honorific.
- The regular use of the term ‘mail order bride’. That is a common American term, and I understand that is the name of the series, but it isn’t a normally used term in England and therefore, the Duke wouldn’t think of himself as marrying a mail order bride. He would think in terms of him having a marriage of convenience.
- I didn’t like Fanny – and maybe I wasn’t supposed to. She is supposed to be this ethereal, sweet, and angelic (too good to be true??) person, but she does some pretty rotten things.
- The ending/solution just felt rushed to me. I could have done with less of the book on the American part of the family and more on the resolution of the issues between Josie and Marcus.
What did I like?
- I absolutely LOVED the epilogue – it was a great wrap-up for the story.
“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”