I usually like Enoch's novels. When I saw this one at the bookstore, I immediately snatched it up, and am now regretting not reading the reviews before I did. Lord Zachary is a boat without a rudder. Coming from a high ranking family, whose older brother is the Duke of Melbourne, Zachary is at a loss as to his purpose in life, so is constantly starting ventures and abandoning them when they lose his interest. Finally, he's hit upon what he wants, or thinks he wants to do, take up a military post and find glory in war. Unfortunately, the Duke knows his brother too well, and commands Zachary to accompany their aunt to Bath before making such a momentous life changing decision. Along the way, his aunt takes a side trip to visit her dear school friend - one who happens to have seven eligible, unmarried daughters. The oldest in this eccentric family, is Caroline Witfield, who does not want to be married - she dreams of becoming a painter.
This may seem to be the makings of a good story, but Enoch, unfortunately, does not deliver. The story falls flat because of the characters. Zachary is redeemable, but Caroline is just blah. She is an uninteresting character because of her single--mindedness and her unlikeability. Enoch attempts to set her apart from her sisters, portraying her sisters as flighty creatures with only one thing on their mind - to get married. The relationship between Caroline and her sisters leaves a bad taste in the reader's mouth - you get the feeling they don't like each other, and Caroline is the worst. Her only goal is her painting, she doesn't care what happens to her sister's or her parents. Very one-dimensional character.
The relationship between Zachary and Caroline is another blah. There is no chemistry, there are no sparks. If the two were shoved into a room full of combustible material, they would not have to worry of an explosion going off. I kept putting the book down, and in the end, had to force myself to finish it. It's a bad sign for me when it takes 3 weeks to finish a book, I didn't even care if Zachary and Caroline ended up together. I just wanted to finish the book so I could sell it back.