Chloe Bocastle and her neighbor Dominic Breckland, Viscount Stratfield, meet unexpectedly. Wounded and dodging his enemies, Dominic hides in a trunk of filmy lingerie in Chloe's room. Dominic is allegedly dead, having attended his own funeral a month before, while he figures out how to seek his revenge. Chloe, too, has a no-less-fatal flaw in a woman of the time: the inability to be demure. He offers her a devil's bargain: to keep quiet about his presence while he determines who killed Chloe's brothers and wants him dead, too.
I thought the above summary was interesting and I was looking forward to reading the book, my first by this author.
Major disappointment. I thought the story was too unbelievable not in terms of the attempted murder and pretending to be a ghost.
I didnt feel like the character's of the heroine and hero were developped or the reason why they ended up liking each other. They meet for the first time, he's hiding in her undergarment trunk/wardrobe/ closet (not exactly sure what exactly it was finally). His stab wounds are infected, he's febrile and she's not sure he will survive the night, but he still has enough energy to try to seduce her??? That would be the furthest thing on his mind surely.
Every scene with the both of them was crammed with nonsensical dialogue that was meant to be witty banter. It just rang false. people would not talk to each other that way and definately not in those times. I found very little in the book that would correspond in any way shape or form with the period this story was meant to be set in. Not in the behavior of the characters or their speech and expressions. Definately not in the heroine's behavior. I doubt young ladies of the aristocracy would sleep so easily with a man they had only met few days before, a man of whom they knew little and who had promised them neither marriage or any sort of commitment. Like there were no consequences in those days. The reason for Chloe's wildness could be attributed to the fact that she belonged to the scandalous Boscastle family. It was mentioned far too many times. Sometimes I think that historical romance authors should stick to stand alone novels instead of series with an unending number of family members and their corresponding stories. We get to meet the whole cast of the Boscastle clan whether we want to or not in every book of the series.
Within 24hrs of their meeting, the hero is thinking to himself that the heroine is the only reason he can carry on with his mission. Please! He managed well enough and was focused enough for the 3 weeks prior to their official meeting. I just kept asking myself, why does he feel this way? They do not know each other. All we have been fed have been their empty emotionless conversations. Nothing that would have us understand any growing attachment between the both of them.
I reckon the story spanned a maximum of 3 weeks. On the day they officially met, the hero was described as looking like a shadow of his former self. He had lost a lot of weight and was gaunt. Throughout the story whilst he was supposed to be dead, he was living in a secret lair underneath his real home, but thank heavens managed to have a nightly wash in a stream. How he ate I know not. From being in pain, febrile with infected wounds, we carry on like normal with no mention of any treatment. At the end of the book, the evil villain is vanquished and Dom's relationship with Chloe is exposed. She is whisked back to town by her brothers. Dom follows her to her family home the next day and is granted an audience with her. I was baffled to read that he looked almost perfect. He had put back on, the weight he had lost. Did the author forget that they, Chloe and Dominic had met the previous day. Did he eat all night????
May be these little bits are not worth noticing. Personally the book felt not quite ready for public consumption. Needed a lot more polish. I did not feel like this was worth my time. I felt nothing for either the heroine or the hero. Didnt believe in their relationship, thought their dialogue was excessive and silly.. Did not correspond to the historical period. Maybe my teenage self would've enjoyed this. Will avoid further books by this author in the future. I had to abandon her "duchess diaries" after 100 pages.