Dear Ms. Dickson,
I should have loved this book. It’s about one of my favorite times in history. Seventeenth century England. Cavaliers. Derring do. A time when history turned on a dime. And maybe 10 or 20 years ago I probably would have enjoyed it. But instead I found it boring, filled with little history lectures, overdramatic and peopled by characters I felt no sympathy for.
The heroine is young and is forced into a marriage by her father with a man she’s never even seen before the ceremony. She’s upset that she can’t marry the man she feels she loves and takes it out on Marcus. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with her continued stupid actions that last throughout the entire book. The twit doesn’t learn. She stamps her feet and acts with no thought at all beyond twitting Marcus. He actually treats her very well considering the fact that after the marriage she hauls ass to Holland with a man not her husband or a relative then gets mad with Marcus for coming after her! Even though she admits to her maid that he probably will follow her! And what’s her grand plan? Nothing! Getting away from Marcus was it. Later she wants to get back with Marcus yet keeps pleading for him to help save Harry, her first love. Doesn’t seem to faze her that she’s risking her life, Marcus’s life, the lives of everyone involved with the cover up and that the estate could be confiscated because they’re hiding an escaped rebel after the Battle of Sedgemoor. Oh, no that doesn’t matter — Harry must be saved. I cheered Marcus when he called her stupid. But no she’s not stupid, she’s FEISTY! Oh Lord help me I despise this type of heroine.
I liked Marcus better than Catherine but not by much. He claims to be so infuriated by the murder of his father yet is willing to wait fourteen months to discover who dunnit. And in that time, he never once visits his estates? Yes, he’s in the army but let’s face it, England isn’t that large. Surely in that amount of time he could go home once and see what a monster he’d left as his steward. Marcus is so blind to Fenton or Felton or whatever his name is. He chastises Catherine for supporting Monmouth’s cause which I understand as she now bears his name and what she does affects the family. But when she flat out tells Marcus that his steward is not only against King James but also doesn’t want any king, that he’s a republican for God’s sake, Marcus does what? NOTHING. He ask Fenton to behave honorably then does nothing. Shesh! He tells Catherine that he can’t just sack the man. Why? He’s the estate owner. Would Ye Olde Stewards Union protest it? I doubt it. Catherine is young and stupid in her support of Monmouth but Fenton is older and much more likely to be an actual threat to the King whom Marcus has sworn an oath as an army officer to support. His inaction just made no sense to me.
Two-thirds of the way through the book I began skimming to finish it. With two leads I didn’t care for, frequent full stops in the action to impart historical data and a passel of Big Misunderstandings, there wasn’t much to lure me back into liking it. I wish that I’d not bought the ebook. At least I could have taken a paperback back for credit. D
available as mass market paperback or ebook