October 7, 2013
After the last book from Kasey Michaels about the Redgrave family, I had high hopes for How to What a Gentleman Desires. Sorry to say, this story didn't work for me. And I do mean
Valentine and Daisy were a delightful couple - they were full of humorous quips and witty dialogue. Valentine was an adorable charmer and Daisy was a smart and spunky heroine. Even when Daisy traveled into TSTL territory, it was tempered with her acknowledging that she knew she was heading into that territory and I had a few chuckles enjoying how the wheels in her brain turned.
The problem for me was that no matter how funny, adorable, and likeable I found this couple to be, they just didn't connect with one another. This is hard to explain. While there was a chemistry in the words between them, there wasn't a romantic chemistry between them. Their romance just didn't work. It happened way too fast and there were no sparks. Too much time was spent developing the back story of the secret society (for those of you who can't keep track of all the series out there - and you know who you are - this is the one with the rose pins worn on the lapels). Anyway, too much time was spent further developing the secret Satan-spy-overthrow-the-government-sacrificing-young-women-and-having-silly-code-names society. Actually, that part of the book was sort of interesting, but like the romance, not fully developed. The secondary character of Piffkin (the valet) was also entertaining. His relationship with both Valentine and Daisy was full of clever lines and amusing dialogue. I just wish the very talented Ms. Michaels had explored all the characters more fully.
So what we have here is a romance that doesn't work as a romance and a thriller that doesn't work as a thriller. This book had the feel of a story that was put together as an intro for the next in the series.
Bottom line, if you are reading the Redgrave series, you will need to pick this one up somewhere so you can follow along. For me, it was disappointing that a wonderfully fun couple didn't have a better love story.
Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: There, but no spark