Barbara’s rating: 2.5/3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: 11/26/19
Number of Pages: 384
Well, I’m not sure how to write this review. I liked the basic story and the writing was good, but it just was not a Regency story. Nothing in it was period correct – and I think I really do mean nothing – not even the basic stuff. All of it was anachronistic. It is also a very, very modern tale with modern language, modern ideas, modern – well everything. I’m not sure I understand why an author would choose to write a period story and then ignore the research to get it right. So, I guess my bottom line is – the basic story is nice and if you don’t mind all of the inaccuracies, then you will enjoy the read.
I also think that the author went way over-the-top with making the heroine a strong, intelligent woman. She was actually a superwoman. She had every skill known to man (or woman). I assume that is why she was always arguing with the hero – in order to showcase all of her skills and talents. She is an expert on the exact type of porcelain the hero needs to have cataloged, she is an expert horse trainer, she swims like a fish, she isn’t fond of ‘feminine’ things like embroidery, she (and everybody else) cusses like a sailor, she can write, etc. She has absolutely every talent/skill/attribute that we, in today’s world, would consider being a strong independent woman. I think it would have been better to pick one or two attributes and focus on those instead of using the shotgun effect. It would have been really easy to dislike her – and, in the real world, I probably would have disliked her.
I really liked Thane. He was horribly, horribly injured in the Napoleonic wars and came home a very angry, very reclusive man. The description of his injuries and what caused them drew me out of the story. I just can’t picture it. I picture this man in the center of a large circle of men with bayonets and they are all poking him with the bayonets. Had they been sword slashes or something I could picture it – but not bayonets. Anyway – I digress. Thane is horribly disfigured and even before that he had an unhappy life – his father was cold and disapproving and, evidently, his older brother was as well. By the time Astrid appeared on his door, he had managed to drive most of his friends away and most of his servants as well. So, he was lonely and angry.
I loved his Aunt Mable – she was priceless. Totally anachronistic, but priceless. She was bright and funny – and very risqué. She, along with the valet and butler, add a bit of lightheartedness to the story.
There were some plot points that just didn’t make sense to me – for instance – he just, out of the blue, decides to give Astrid some land and buildings to open a school. Why? She’d never mentioned any desire to open a school – and that is the only mention of it. It was just left hanging.
Even given the above, I did enjoy the actual story itself. I liked Thane and enjoyed seeing him learn that he could have love and a family in his life. I even liked Astrid because, even though she was annoying, she was still vulnerable, and that humanized her a bit.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.