Tracy’s rating: 2.5/3 of 5 stars
Series: The London Jewels Trilogy, #2
Release Date: January 28, 2020
***WARNING – This review might be considered spoilerish ***
The Honorable Miss Fenella Grantley, only child of Baron Grantley, has a secret, one she has shared with no one, not even her dearest friends Petra & Diana. Fenella secretly longs to tread the boards and has been taking acting lessons, but she knows it is not a realistic aspiration for a woman of her social standing, but nonetheless, she is taking lessons and enjoying herself. She is actually at a class and is given a new part to read. She begins and is berated by Edward Tremayne – the illegitimate son of the Earl of Pendleton and apparently the author of the play she is reading for. Fenella knows Edward by sight, but was never formally introduced. She gets upset with his critique and gives him a piece of her mind before leaving.
Edward can’t believe Fenella didn’t immediately understand the character – in his mind she is the lead character – Rose. Edward has always lived on the fringes and has always admired Fenella, when he began writing his play, titled Sapphire, he always pictured Rose looking like Fenella. He rushes after her and to patch the riff between them. He is lucky that Fenella is a reasonable person and gives him a chance to explain himself. She listens to him and agrees to meet the next day – she is not sure how she feels about him, but doesn’t deny the attraction she feels. When she arrives home, her friends Petra & Diana are waiting for her and she tells them of her acting classes and meeting Edward. She also mentions the problem of a suitor Lord George, the son of a duke, who has lately began to act as if they are engaged, she blames herself for not making her feelings clear and is at a loss as how to set him straight without hurting him or ruining herself.
The next day Rose goes to see Edward at his lodgings, he tries to explain his vison for the play and Rose in particular, things do not go well and they once again quarrel, but this time Edward kisses her, a kiss she eagerly returns. He asks her to come back the next day and even though she is confused about how she feels, she agrees. That evening she attends her mother’s dinner party and meets Edward’s half-siblings, they are vile people, but Fenella indulges her curiosity and learns quite a bit about Edward. When she visits him the next day, they again quarrel, make up and he suggests they spend the day together, she agrees and after a good meal and interesting conversation, they return to his rooms and one thing leads to another and she spends the night and leaves even more confused than before – where is this relationship going and more important – where does she want it to go??
This was a very strange book – the first 80% is basically, Fenella and Edward eating, arguing and having sex. Repeatedly, some other things happen, but for the most part – that is the book – I kept waiting for something to happen, but it didn’t. It wasn’t a bad book, but it was somewhat boring, despite being steamy. I felt confused by Fenella, she doesn’t want to ruin herself by breaking with George, but she is going to Edward’s alone and having sex (I assume from her inner dialogue that she was a virgin) but apparently she isn’t concern about being labeled loose/fast??? I also found them both a bit spoiled and used to having things their own way – she was definitely more flexible and reasonable, Edward seemed to have a lot of “What did I say?” moments, which I actually found amusing because they were the typical male “I really don’t understand why you are upset” reaction to her anger. The end of the book did tie up most of the loose ends and cemented their relationship, but I honestly didn’t feel the love. So bottom-line, I didn’t love the book, I didn’t hate it either, and while I would not read it again, I did like it better than the first book in the series. This is the second book in the series, but it can be read as a standalone with no problems.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*