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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

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Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

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Heiress for Hire
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Kyraryker’s quotes


"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy by Vanessa Kelly

How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy - Vanessa Kelly

****Full Review****

 

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Will and Evie were childhood sweethearts whose love story was interrupted by Napoleon. Will went off to fight for King and country while Evie remained at home confused and hurt as to why Will distanced himself from her. With Evie's mother constantly giving him the cold shoulder because of his born on the wrong side of the blanket status, emotional toll of war, and little bit of fear of his feelings for Evie, Will makes the unconscious decision to drift away from Evie. A couple years have gone by, Napoleon has been routed and Will has a side job as being a spy. When he and his cousin Alec are given the assignment of uncovering Irish rebels and a plot to assassinate royals, he is shocked to hear Evie's name mentioned. It seems Evie has been doing charitable work at St. Margaret's, which is known to help Irish in need along with her soon to be, fiancé Michael. Hearing Evie could be betrothed and not to him, is a shot to Will's heart. When Will and Evie collide old feelings might not be buried as deep as liked but Will's lies and Evie's lack of trust in him might keep those feelings from ever surfacing.
 
The first half of this book was immensely slow and tedious; very hard to get into. Will and Alec are on the mission of finding out if Michael and by extension Evie, are involved in the murderous plot but there seems to just be a lot of standing around at parties as Will is annoyed with how Evie tries to avoid him. There are also numerous mentions of how Eden, Evie's twin sister, and Alec try to antagonize one another as the author sets up the story for the next in the series. Except for Alec questioning Michael and asking for tours of St. Margaret's there doesn't seem to be any actual spy work being done. After the fifty percent mark things picked up a bit as Will and Evie get caught in a compromising position and start to spend more time together. There is still a slight stiltedness to their interactions but at least they are having them. The assassination plot is really the main focus of this book and it also picks up steam halfway through as more characters and answers get revealed.
 
Evie had extreme hurt, anger, and confusion towards Will due to miscommunication, misunderstanding, and how young they were when their relationship was forming. She loved how handsome he was but constantly tried to run back to Michael's side because he had never hurt her. Will, of course, can't figure out why he becomes angry whenever he sees Evie with Michael. I thought Evie had depth as a character; she is the shy twin so she lives a bit in her sister's shadow and has a lack of self-esteem but a passionate nature that flares up at times. Her character was layered and she was interesting. Will never managed to get beyond the good looking soldier boy for me as I never felt anything from him, he rang hollow many times. Together they fell somewhat flat as Evie kept placing Michael between them and I kept waiting for the customary Big Lie of Will investigating Evie to blow up.
 
The Irish rebels and their murderous plot started off slow but towards the end became the most engaging part of the story, even if the main villain was fairly predictable. Unfortunately, I found there to be a lack of romance, in this romance book. The quality of writing is apparent with the plot technically strong but the emotional execution simply wasn't there.