March 8, 2012What we've got here is a failure to communicate.
I was looking forward to Sophia Nash's newest series, beginning with Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea. The first two chapters were fun and had all the earmarks of a rollicking good time. Then somewhere along the way, I started doubting my ability to finish this story. But, finish it I did, I just had a frowny face on when I put the book down.
Let's look at the hero, Alexander Barkly, Duke of Kress. We are introduced to him the morning after a bachelor party and he has a hangover. In fact all of the men at this party have a variety of problems due to the fact that they all overindulged in Absinthe...which Kress is blamed for. Oh, yeh, the Prince Regent is there also, along with the gaggle of dukes and he is tired tired tired of all the scandal surrounding his name, so they (the dukes) must somehow solve that problem. Now, I found the morning after scene rather amusing, so, I was ok with the story up to this point.
Then we have our heroine, Roxanne. When we engage with her, she is hanging from a cliff and pondering when will her husband return to rescue her. He never does. He is out to murder her. He's the villain; we know this because he uses boot-black to cover his bald spot.
Then we have our intrepid dog, Edward, who is barking, just as if he were Rin Tin Tin, showing our hero the way to the cliff for the rescue.
So, I thought the story was going to be fun. I did not suspect that there were going to be parts where I didn't understand what was going on. Parts that didn't make any sense, a plethora of characters that were never developed and many things that required just one too many stretches of the imagination. This book almost became a DNF, but I trudged through it anyway...always hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Alas, it never showed up.
Also, remember the little problem we - I - have with modern language/ambiance cropping up in historicals? Remember how we try to ignore it, especially when we are interested in the story? Sorry to say, after awhile the modern cadence of this story became rather irritating.
I felt that some of the problem I had with this story, besides the title, was there were just way too many people in this book. And, by the looks of it all of them are going to show up again, so, a lot of time that should have been spent on our main couple was spent on introducing one person after another, then watching them as they rode off into the distance.
There were other things that didn't make sense...how can a casket be lowered in the ground without a body in it? Wouldn't some one notice that the casket was rather light weight? Wouldn't the undertaker notice that instead of a body there was a hat? Maybe the husband/villain put the body in the casket. Wouldn't that send out messages to someone that something wasn't right?
There were so many "what the" moments in this book, along with abrupt scene changes. I found myself going back a couple of times and rereading to see if I had missed something.
I was disappointed when I finished this story. This had moments of humor, moments of witty dialog, and a smile would appear on my face occasionally...but there were just too many distractions, too much sequel-baiting and things that didn't make sense for me to enjoy this story the way I wanted to.
Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Warm