Penny’s Rating: C
I was not enamored of this book. It falls somewhere in the middle of the plethora of historical romance novels I have read. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I was actually impressed by first time writer, one Alyssa Everett, but have to acknowledge that this book just isn’t my thing.
Publisher Description: “Dogged for years by painful gossip about his father’s homosexuality, the Marquess of Beningbrough—Ben, to his friends—has protected himself by becoming the ultimate man’s man. Passed over by suitor after suitor in favor of her pretty but vapid younger sister, clever, forthright Lady Barbara Jeffords has reached the disappointing conclusion most men are shallow, boorish clods. When a philandering footman turns up dead, the two square off: he’s sure she’s determined to pin the crime on his hapless young cousin, while she thinks he means to shift the blame to her sister. To find the real killer, Ben and Barbara must declare a truce that threatens to expose both their buried insecurities and their growing desire for each other.”
In addition to the romance between Ben and Barbara, this is also a whodunnit mystery, and for me, it just fell flat. I couldn’t connect with the characters, and I figured out who the killer was way before everyone in the story. Plus Ben and Barbara, are both kinda angsty and came across as too insecure. They are easily insulted not only by what they say to each other, but what everyone else says to them as well. Plus the story alternates between Ben and Barbara’s points of view, and it is a little discombobulating.
If you love historical romances, with murder, spying, and shenanigans, you’ll probably love this book. The dialogue is witty, and the story does have some unique elements not often found in your typical historical. In spite of the angst, none of the characters fit their standard stereotypes, and in all honesty had more to them than I expected, which was a nice surprise. All in all, not bad for a debut novel, and it kept my interest enough that I will be keeping and eye on author Alyssa Everett to see what she does next.