February 28, 2013
Let's have some fun!
Before I start out with my take on The Baron's Betrothal: On-Again, Off-Again, On-Again, I have to say that when Miranda Davis published her first book last year I was very impressed. There are some debut authors who do just ok and I'll read again...but then there are others who are superb and it's very exciting to read their work. I loved The Duke's Tattoo; it was clever, fun, and the characters were memorable. I also voted it has one of my top books from 2012. So, when I marked The Baron's Betrothal: On-Again, Off-Again, On-Again as a must read, it was with a bit of trepidation. When authors start off with such a tremendous bang, I'm always anxious about the next book they are going to release. I'm happy to say that Miranda Davis' writing in the second book lived up to my hopes.
Now, before you get too excited, I was not as "in love" with this story as I was with the first. One of the things that gave me pause was the length of, according to my Nook, over 700 pages. Now, I don't know how that translates into paper, but when I saw the 1 out of 798 at the bottom I gave a little "yikes." I jumped in anyway and was rewarded with some wonderful characters in the form of Clun, our big big big hero, and Elizabeth, our spunky, peppy, enchanting heroine. Clun doesn't stand a chance. Now, the "mighty coincidental" gimmick to throw these two together is that Elizabeth is hiding from her fiance, Lord Clun, whom she has never met. She picks his estate to hide away on because who would ever think to check for her at her fiance's place. Made sense to me. So, who just so happens to pay a visit to his estate? You guessed it. The fiance himself, Clun. When these two meet, it's fun. He catches on to her identity right away and plays some pretty dastardly tricks on her. But those tricks made me chuckle. Of course, she finds out and more sparks fly. I loved this part of the book, but then they traveled back to London and it was at this point that the story started to drag.
The book seemed to take on a two-book ambiance. The beginning, which was fast, clever, and delightful, had me smiling through all of it, but when they journey to London the book slowed down. It was also during the London part that our enchanting couple who seemed so right for each other were separated. Even when they were together, they were apart... so the story lost some of its charm for me.
Overall, I liked this story, liked Clun and Elizabeth. They were a great couple, at least when they were together. There are some wonderfully poignant moments, especially when Elizabeth returns to London and her father doesn't even know she's been gone Clun's reaction to Elizabeth's pain at this time was beautifully written. There is also a horrible mother (Clun's) who was simply fascinating in her cruelty. Sent shivers down my spine. I just wish that the momentum at the beginning had carried all the way through the book. Nonetheless, Miranda Davis has become an auto-buy for me and I am definitely looking forward to the third in the series, His Lordship's Last Wager: A Regency Romance between Bitter Enemies.
By the way, the chapter headings are a treat.
Time/Place: Regency England