Guess what! I read things other than comics. I read books too! This week, I’ll be talking about a historical romance I read. Wait! Where are you going? Come on. Hear me out!
Blurb (from goodreads)
An enigmatic woman, a determined spy, and a love that could shake the foundations of Europe…
“Heartless” Cordelia Bering refuses every marriage offer she receives. Yet men still try to win her, drawn by her sharp wit and intoxicating green eyes. But Cordelia knows a marriage could reveal her deepest secret and truly endanger her life. Besides, she hasn’t met a man worth considering, until…
Sebastien Thorne, a spy in the service of Crown. One of the elite agents in the group known as the Zodiac, he comes to London determined to solve a mystery with roots on the Continent. He won’t let anything distract him. But is Cordelia a distraction, or the key to the mystery? As he learns more about the “heartless” woman, he becomes embroiled in secrets, plots, and a design that could change the future…and Cordelia is at the center of it all.
Why I Picked It Up
I have a problem. I see an ebook for free and I snatch it up. It could be “how to sauté spleens” and I’d get it. I really need to stop doing that.
As far as character go, Cordelia and Sebastien were solid. They were true to themselves, for the most part. See, both were rather secretive in nature for many, many reasons. (Though Cordelia wins for sheer number of them.) When the moment came for the big secrets to drop… It could have been more dramatic. I felt, while the moment had to come for them to grow and share with each other, it lacked an epic feel. I’m glad it wasn’t problematic and volatile, though. I would have found that a bigger issue.
There is a large supporting cast. Some of which end up in later installments of this series. The villains were bad not just in reputation, but showed it. Though, the fact they threatened imposed lust was a little tiresome. Overall, they were all well and appropriately presented and interesting.
This series lost one star simply because I didn’t have a favorite character. While not hating anyone is a good start, not loving even a supporting player makes me frown. I wasn’t so much cheering for the couple as I was waiting for the person that would grab my fangirl heart.
This story was set during the Napoleonic War. Empire waists. Balls. The ton. My laymen eye saw nothing wrong and only right. (I’m a sucker for this era.)
As a romance, it makes sense that they put that plot’s needs first. That was well done with a good build, but could have used a bit more drama (especially with secret reveals and family members). I feel there were miss opportunities in that sense. As a book about a spy, I felt the romance plot took over and made him think stupidly and the wrong direction more than once (for sake of their relationship). I wish they could have coexisted a little better.
It took me a while to get into this book. I’d say at around the 35% mark was when I had a hard time putting it down. (Only life and sheer willpower kept me from neglecting duties from 35%-54%, after that even life/willpower failed me.) It took me a lot of time to get to that initial can’t-put-it-down point, which is disappointing. Additionally, though well-written I won’t be continuing on in this series. I’m not sold on the next (or any of the later) people involved.
Are your favorite characters usually the mains or in the supporting cast?
Is there an era you’re a sucker for?
What usually sells you on the next book in a series?