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. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.
Here we have the Campbell clan, starring Maggie with guest appearances by Micah and Judith. Their parents just died so they are traveling to go live with their aunt and uncle. At the train station they meet a tall, handsome, charming stranger named Aaron.
KAPOW! BOOM! ZLONK!** (That’s Maggie and Aaron falling into insta-lustlove)
But wait, what’s this my dearies? They don’t immediately ride off into the sunset?
What follows is a very hard to get into story full of cardboard cut out figures and surface writing. I honestly thought this was the author’s first book, characters were not flushed out at all. It should have been a sweeping story of a woman alone in 1885 (you won’t really know the time period while you’re reading though, because time period descriptive text is scarce) fighting to keep her family safe, escape the evil clutches of a mad reverend cousin, and find love. Instead, you get a heroine who LOVES the hero, wants to stay away from him, can’t stay away from him, doesn’t understand why he won’t marry her and a hero who LOVES the heroine, sleeps with the heroine, and wants to marry another woman because he thinks it will erase his bastard lineage. Secondary characters include Micah, the brother-17yr old who Maggie babies because she doesn’t want him to go to a whorehouse; Judith, the sister- 15yr old who vows to marry Aaron’s friend Thayer (Seems like this would have been the sequel but with the author’s death, we will probably never see it); Daisy, the servant- described as a blue eyed quadroon and basically spends the whole book being accosted by white men; and Wesley, the reverend cousin- crazy zealot who wants to marry Maggie. All are written without a lot of substance or motivations.
There was a story to be told here, unfortunately the author failed in her execution of it. Historical romance books of this time period and location are very scarce, so if you must escape the ballrooms, I suppose this could be an alternative. Just don’t expect to be swept off your feet.
Flibber, ok, ok, I’ll stop.
I will say though, I thought the cover was gorgeous.
*The author used this word(?), a lot, and I am now obsessed with it.
**These are also sounds from the tv series Batman.