I liked Sins of Wicked Duke (Fallon's story), so I thought I'd like this one. I did. Until the second half. There were several things that I failed to accept/get over/understand:
1. We have no real detail about Ian/Linnie's relationship. Though they were not the hero/heroine (this is only partly true, since Spencer does think that Evie is Linnie), we still needed more information about their background. How old was Linnie? Why did he not marry her to begin with? He claimed to have been madly in love with her the whole time he was away at war, so why not marry her before he went? It wasn't like he was called away to go, from what I understood he chose to go, but why?
2. How could Ian had told Spencer so much about Linnie during their time in the military together that would cause Spencer to fall in love with her by these stories, but not have a clue of what she looked like, or what her real name was?
3. Ian asked Spencer to to look out and care for Linnie and his child (without knowledge of Linnie's death, Evie raising him, and Nicholas not being branded a bastard because of Evie's scheme), not to marry her and legitimize his son. To me it seemed that all Spencer really wanted was what his cousin had--Linnie between his sheets. That seemed to fuel his feelings for her, they did not seem genuine. It was more like he was jealous because his cousin slept with her and he had to prove to himself that he could get her in bed too.
4. Evie's scheme of creating a dead husband just didn't seem to wash with me. She had been back from Barbados for six months, and even if she had been living in the country for that time, it just seems strange that all the sudden after being back for six months she has a dead husband and a child. How was this not questioned or proved wrong long before nearly five years? Even being hidden away it doesn't seem possible that nothing had slipped or suspected upon.
5. Their first sexual encounter taking place in a rat infested wine cellar. I personally didn't like that. Maybe if there had been no mention of hearing the rats, or knowing they were down there with them, it would have been okay, but as a reader I have always picture in my mind what is going on and I just couldn't help but picturing rats running around while they were laying on the floor...
6. To keep up with her act that she was experienced she wiped herself up after their wine cellar experience, but what about his shirt that she was laying on, how did he not see the blood on it? And when he finally realized that she was Linnie's sister why did he not ask her about her sexual knowledge? During their time spent with the rats in the cellar she did some things to him that only a woman of experience (or a lot of sexual knowledge) would know to do. So why did he not question that? And if he was ready to believe the worst about her why did he so easily accept that she really was a virgin.
7. The end itself was a disappointment for several reasons. First, it seemed rushed, especially considering what he had done that he needed to correct. In reference to actual time that had passed, it had been several weeks, but in pages of the book, it wasn't enough. Second, what she did was wrong, and she really should have told him sooner, much sooner. Once they were married would have been a good time. At that point he really couldn't have done much except fumed. He couldn't really have taken Nicholas from her then, but in order to cause a major conflict and almost break the characters up he finds out by someone else and acts poorly. Third, how he reacts when he finds out is ridiculous. I honestly do not understand what happened in the forrest. She asks what she can do for him to forgive her, and he tells her to take off her clothes (in a snowy forrest no less) and pushes her against a tree and has sex with her. Excuse me but what does that fix? Nothing apparently, except humiliate her, and then he still stalks off mad? I don't understand (if anyone does, please inform me). Fourth, her father tries to intervene, but really what does he do? He punches Spencer, but really doesn't fix anything, nor do his words alter Spencer's opinion or actions. He still waits several days before going to go see her. As for her father, he really needed to do more. He needed to have a scene where he tries to fix things between him and his daughter, or tells the stepmom off. Fifth, when Spencer does go see her, she's surrounded by her friends (which I thought was a sign of promise, and it was at first), her friends take up for her but after only a few minutes she's crying and tells them to stop being defensive of her, then instantly he tells her he loves her and she forgives him! I'm sorry but I don't think he adequately corrected what he had done. Yes, she'd lied, but his actions were by far worse. That scene only lasted like 2-3 pages and it needed to be longer, with perhaps more groveling and the reader actually believing that he's truly sorry.
Maybe I give books too much thought! I know they are just entertainment and not reality, but sometimes I get so hung up on things and this one had several conflicts I couldn't dismiss easily.
I'll say this for Sophie Jordan's writing she seems to have two extremes her good books are great, and her not good books, are awful! There's really not a lot in between. The reason I gave this two stars instead of one is there were several scenes that were well developed and vastly entertaining. I can suffer through a bad scene but I hate a rushed/under developed ending.