Series: Rebels of the Ton #2
Publication Date: 6/29/21
Period: Regency -1816 London and points north
Number of Pages:374
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I learned that the villain from the previous book, Notorious, is the hero in this book. Sometimes authors manage to redeem a character spectacularly – and sometimes they don’t, so I was anxious to see how this redemption would go. In the first one percent of the book, it seems our hero had a complete personality transplant and became filled with remorse over what he’d previously done. Actually, I like the way the author handled the redemption – he sort of ‘awoke’ and realized what he’d done and even what he was still planning to do. He definitely wasn’t redeemed at that point, but it was a great beginning and as we slowly learn the reasons for his actions, we also come to understand the pain that caused him to go off the deep end. I know page time is limited in a book, but I would have loved to see a short scene, maybe in the epilogue or perhaps the last chapter, where he approaches Dru and Gabriel to apologize and ask for their forgiveness.
Eva de Courtenay is one of those bright, energetic, fun-loving, dedicated people who just make you tired by being around her (think of the Energizer bunny). She’s drop-dead gorgeous – and would argue with a fence post. Headstrong, heedless, and reckless don’t even begin to describe her, but she is also strong, resilient, resourceful, brave, and totally loyal to those she loves. You are going to absolutely love her!
When Eva learns the villain is still after her step-brother and his new wife, she makes a plan to thwart him. She’ll just kidnap him and take him north somewhere and strand him so that her step-brother and his family will already be out of London by the time he makes it back to London. She seems to have forgotten that the man was a soldier for over a dozen years and is pretty resourceful himself. Of course, nothing in any of that scenario could go wrong – right?
Godrick Fleming, Earl of Visel, heir to the Duke of Tyndale, has had a horrendous time of it over the last few years. I won’t tell you all of it because that would spoil the book’s revelations for you. Just suffice it to say, if any of us had been through what he has, we’d probably go off the deep end as well. With good reason, he never plans to marry or have children, and yet, he’s been knocked out, kidnapped, and now he is on the Great North Road with a beautiful young woman who has him tied up and at her mercy. The young woman is totally oblivious to the fact that they must now marry or she will be totally ruined. Uh Oh.
This was a fun read – after I got past all of the age references. Those references were throughout the book and it often made me want to throw the book against the wall. Godrick is 17 years older than Eva and today we’d think of him as a cradle robber, but in that period, it wasn’t particularly uncommon. Also, it wasn’t like he had any real choice in the matter and since they needed to marry, was it supposed to be a chaste marriage? So – mention the age difference, deal with it, and then get on with the story.
I loved all of the wit and humor both of the main characters displayed. Their banter and ‘arguments’ were often priceless. I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced, well-written story filled with many, many mishaps along their trek toward Scotland. It seems as if anything that could happen, did happen. I also loved the supporting characters – especially Andrew and James who were both loyal employees and friends who enabled the adventures and helped resolve the issues.
The only reason I rated this book lower is because of the constant references to age. I got very tired of it because I often felt as if it were mentioned several times on each page. It definitely wasn’t that often, but it was so often that I started to groan each time it came up. It added nothing to the romance and didn’t move the story along, so there was no reason for the author to have fixated on it quite so much.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.