In the world of historical romances, particularly regency romance, it is difficult to find something refreshing and new. The stories are usually washed up, same-old same-old and a mildly amusing passing read (such as this is). But once in a while you do encounter some that make your blood boil and your heart beat faster. This book had a chance to be one of those but unfortunately it failed.
If I would have to characterize it, I would say it's okay, good, somewhere in the middle. I know it doesn't sound inviting but for the fans of the regency romance it should be quite a good read.
I didn't know this was the second book of The Jordans Series so I read it before the first (which I will read next). Despite jumping to the second book, I didn't feel lost in the story which is a very big plus for the author.
The story revolves around a womaniser (aren't they all?) called Noah Jordan who recently received his father title and now he has to run the entire family as well as all the estates. He used to be a spy for the Crown, same as his beloved sister. He loved the danger and the adventure as well as the enjoyment of the female "flesh" as he put it. Now he has to settle down for the sake of his family and his late father.
He wanted to be a good son and marry a respectable, suitable woman from a good family and with good connections but for whom he felt absolutely nothing. Thankfully, he decided to do one last adventurous act and help a friend find out if his daughter was murdered or not. So he returned to his shire and started with the snooping. But before anything could happen he met the most unusual woman called Marion Hawthorne.
Marion was staying along with her father at the suspect's home and she facing a future worse than death. Her father secretly wanted to sell her to an old man known for his cruelty to pay off some of his debts towards him. He even went that far as to promise the man he could force his daughter in bed.
Now that the situation got really complicated and Noah found himself in a pinch, the destiny will take over and give us a promising love story.
There were a few things that bothered me but they weren't as great a factor in deciding on how many stars I would give this book as the (no)progress was. The story didn't flow in an interesting manner. Yes, we had a couple that wanted to be together but the obstacles they had to overcome were "huge". Yes, we had an indication of an interesting storyline that would make their union all the more heartwarming. So, what went wrong?
The spy stuff, to put it bluntly. The rest of the storyline depended on the main male character formerly being a spy for the Crown who now had to investigate a man suspected of a murder of his late young wife. And what did we get? Only one snooping around the suspect's office. That was it! Nothing more. Everything else was dedicated to the love story of the main characters who really had no real obstacles to be together if you look at it closely but doted on them for so long that the story got boring.
Few of the things that did bother me...
1. "..., he caught a tantalizing glimpse of shapely ankle and a flash of stocking-clad calf."
Almost every regency tale has a shapely ankle and that started to bother me lately because it is such a stupid repeat that I feel my soul leaving my body every time I see it. Please stop with the ankles, will you? Either focus on the face and breasts or give us something more saucy. I just can't do ankles. What does a shapely ankle even mean/represent?
2. "Noah." Slowly, she wrapped her arms around his neck. He could feel her pulse pounding wildly through her veins."
Shortly -> how? How could he feel her pulse through the veins on her arms/hands? That my dear author could never happen. Please don't treat us like idiots here. And do pay attention to what you say.
3. "She stiffened under his hands now that they caressed her bare skin, but when he slid his fingers up to brush her pink nipples, she relaxed again with a soft, “Oh my.”
Marion had never realized how good being touched could feel. Her own life had been devoid of affection since her mother had died, but she’d convinced herself she didn’t crave physical touch."
This is really my personal taste, but when we finally (!) get some real action, the author decided to bring up Marion's dead mother in the midst of it. It totally killed the mood. I mean, one moment I'm imagining them finally getting down to business while the next her dead mother pops in my head to say cool down, there's nothing here to get all fussy about. Not fair, dear author. Not fair.
I did like the story though, or the idea of it would be more accurately said. A womanising spy that is now a master falls for a smart and cocky girl who is far beneath his station and he dedicates his world to her. There were a few scenes I really liked. One of them being at the end of the book(show spoiler)
If I had to say, would I recommend it or not, I would say that I do but only if you really enjoy regency romance because for the rest, the story might be a little dull. All in all, I will continue with this series.