I waited and waited and waited for this story to get exciting…and then it just ended. Usually, if a book is going to bore me, it gives me sufficient clues within the first quarter of the story. But this one lured me in with its detailed historical setting, complex familial relationships, an interesting and conflicted heroine, but then failed to deliver on the actual plot. It failed on two out of three counts. The male love interest was dull, dull, dull. And the conflict in the story was…to be resolved in some book down the line in a series still being written. The only thing they got right was the protagonist. Helen was dealing with a revelation that didn’t just changed the story she’d always been told of her mother, the traitor to her nation, but also threatened to upend her life and relationships. She was pretty badass. But a lot of the story depended on the hero, William, whose lack of any personality — unless mopey is something you find attractive — killed the narrative dead. I’m not picking up the next one, unless a reviewer I trust swears up and down that someone taught Goodman about pacing and conflict.
Cord and Anne are my favourite fictional couple. Their relationship is serious #lifegoals for me. I’ve searched high and low for a book that is as gripping, as warm, as pulsing with life as this one, but Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold remains my only find in this genre that I can read a hundred times and still feel the tug of a dozen emotions as if I’m reading every scene for the first time. (more…)
Let’s face it, most all these historical romances are utterly and completely ridiculous:
Husbands coming back from the dead; long-lost heirs and heiresses; forged wills; bad-but-actually-good pirates and crime lords; kidnapped children and heroines; murdering psychopaths always on the loose (apparently England has a disproportionate number of crazies); frequent cases of amnesia and/or mistaken identity; an unbelievable lack of the ability to communicate or c lear up Big Misunderstandings (they desperately need to learn the “when you did ____, it made me feel ____” statement); thousands of hero-material noblemen running around England and almost every single one of them drop-dead-gorgeous, in their late 20s / early 30s, single, and of course just waiting for that one special woman who will completely transform their lives and their hearts when they fall in love with her; heroines we (almost always) love and can relate to, who just happen to often be wallflowers, plain janes, poor relations, unusual or odd, bluestockings, bullied by some dastardly person(s), running from some dastardly secret(s), etc.; man whores (a.k.a rakes and rogues) who for some reason all become perfect and 100%-faithful husbands once they meet said heroines; widows who in dramatically large numbers are still virgins so that when the love of their life comes along he can luckily be the first (and only) one she does the mattress dance with; romances between g overnesses / companions / maids / street urchins / secretaries and the lord of the house; good characters whom we’re rooting for always managing to stay alive while the bad ones we hate always die or are in some way dramatically publicly humiliated and ostracized; oh, and of course, the most unlikely thing of all: **always**, without fail, a HEA ending.
Yeah … sorry, what part of any of that sounded remotely realistic? None! … Which is why we read them :-).
The above rant (which I adored and am in complete agreement with) was part of a review published by Juliana (julianaphilippa)of goodreads that can be found and read here.
To begin, let me say that Ms Ferguson penned one of my favourite regency romances a few years ago and so bought my loyalty for all eternity. It was the charming Lord Sidley’s Last Season, which I would recommend to most regency lovers.
In three related but independent books, Ms Ferguson tells us the tales of three men, three brothers who are all descendants of dukes and all very stubbornly different from each other.
In Merely A Mister, the third and possibly final book in this series, we read about Lord Hayden, the eldest son and the heir to the Duke of Braughton.
Through Quiet Meg (Avalon Romance) and Major Lord David I have known the dutiful, solemn side of the Marquis. I have also seen him come to his brother’s aid in a most unconventional way. It is easy to say that he puts family and honour before all personal happiness – he has sacrificed much – but he isn’t a push over. He challenges his father’s outdated ideas as he advices the Duke on matters of politics and admits to himself that it would take time and a lot of patience to usher in changes through his father. But as perfect a son and Marquis as Lord Hayden is, there are those in the ton who think him too serious, too much given to grim duty. And the same voices dub him ‘His Resplendence’ for certainly one of the duties of the heir to Braughton is to give in to the strict dictatorship of a demanding valet. (more…)