I did enjoy reading this book– but nowhere near as much as I’d hoped. It’s skirting fairly close to the 2.5 star line.
I liked the setup– The governess (unknown to her, she’s an heiress disowned by her grandfather when her parents died when she was three) starts work for an earl that newly inherited a title, estate & young niece. He is trying to figure out what went wrong to put him in this position. There’s mystery on both sides of the couple-to-be.
Unfortunately, neither party ever quite worked for me as a character or a person. Way to much time was spent with each thinking about how attractive the other one was (and how they’d never felt this way before). I’m not sure what she found attractive about him, but he certainly appreciated her fiery spirit, and that she was willing to look at him in spite of his scars.
Then the book pushed a personal button. I want the couple to DECIDE to go to bed together. It can be a terrible decision and still work for me in a book, but I don’t like it when one or both is resolved not to go there, then all of a sudden there they are, having sex.
And yes, they have sex. In detail. And they think about having had sex. In detail. And they both decide it was a bad idea. And then they do it all again. I actually like steamy, but this just seemed repetitive, although that may be because of my personal preference, mentioned above.
The mystery aspect had a lot of potential, but never came together for me. As mentioned in the beginning, there were two mysteries– what had happened to the Earl’s two brothers and the mystery of Mercy’s birth. Why was the estate in such terrible condition, and what happened to his the Earl’s two older brothers to leave him in charge? Why was Mercy abandoned as a young child, to be raised by strangers? I thought that Mercy’s story sounded more interesting, but the Earl’s story ended up being the strongest part of the book for me. Unfortunately, I needed to care more about the characters to get invested in the thrill of the chase. The details seemed predictable at some times and tedious at others (particularly in Mercy’s story). Those weren’t enough to tip in into not enjoying it, but they did leave me wishing that it worked better– the potential was there for this to be really good.
There were other aspects that worked– there were some funny bits, and I enjoyed the look at the Earl’s soldiers taking over all aspects of running the estate. All in all, the book didn’t live up to its potential.
I used Netgalley.com to request access to this book for review purposes. Thank you to Harper Collins and Netgalley.