Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Not as good as the prequel - here's hoping the next one is better!

Oliver York returns from war to find his father dead, his finances in arrears, and himself the new Earl of Carlisle.  If he doesn't marry an heiress - and fast! - he and his tenants are going to be pitching tents down by the Thames.  he definitely shouldn't be trading kisses with a penniless débutante ... not matter how captivating.

Miss Grace Halton is in England just long enough to satisfy the terms of her dowry.  But a marriage of convenience isn't as easy as she'd hoped.  Back in America, her ailing mother needs medicine only Grace's dowry can afford.  Which means the dashing earl she can't get out her mind is the one man she can't let into her heart.

This is the first full novel in the Dukes of War series and had more of a story to it than the prequel basically because there was more time to lay out the plot line.   However, unlike the Viscount’s Christmas Temptation I did not feel connected either with Grace or the Earl.  I found Grace a bit whiny too and preoccupied (if we were told about her mother we were told about her 100 times).  The male lead was also preoccupied but rather than a sentimental issue his was rather more serious.

Once again this is a light read so do not expect things to be too historically accurate for example Grace’s whole attitude and demeanour was a little too modern for my liking.  The story is often halted for lengthy descriptions of the setting and the frequent descriptions of Grace and her fragrant smell, luscious lips and enticing eyes, possibly to make up for the lack of substance in the story.

The relationship had various issues which were neither adequately explored nor adequately explained.  There was little or no romantic build up, or character development, and then the whole situation was resolved much too quickly for my liking.  Unfortunately, the author missed an ideal opportunity to create great deal of tension and drama between this couple.  In short, this book felt rushed and was all a bit too obvious. 

One other failing is that we do not really get to know any of the other minor characters who are likely to be subject to the subsequent novels.  There were some moments of hilarity where they were concerned but not enough to keep the reader vested in all the characters major and minor to ensure the reader continues with the series.  In short this was a lackadaisical effort. 

In short another light read that kept me entertained to the end.  However, I hope that the second novel is more developed, less rushed and less obvious than this one.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 3 stars on net galley and 'It was OK' in Amazon (3 stars) and Goodreads (2 stars).

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