When I try new authors, I really want to enjoy their work. I saw this book and thought it would be a good read. I enjoy hot sex in a book, and I love historicals. If I like a new author, I immediately hunt for backlist or eagerly await new books.
Unfortunately, I won't be doing that with future books by Ms. Johnson. I liked the author's writing style to some degree, but I never came to care about her characters. I saw them as one-dimensional and flat. I didn't dislike them, they were pleasant enough, but they were superficial. I never really got to see beneath the veneer that covered each character, even though it was clear the author was trying to pull that veneer off. However, it just didn't work.
The one reason this book isn't getting a lower rating is because of one scene. It is the first sex scene, so called because I never experienced any emotion or even a great deal of sexual tension developing between these too, although there were inklings of it. The characters used words like love, but it wasn't expressed in the sexual acts. In the first act, Duff is in a somewhat catatonic, cathartic state as he mates with Annabelle.
It was the first really deep look into his wounded psyche, and displayed what this book had the potential to be. Ms. Johnson appears to have a talent that got buried under confusing dialogue and a mish mash of scenes that never really explored the inner depths of the characters.
Perhaps in the future, I might be willing to take another look at Ms. Johnson's work, but it's going to need rave reviews and rave recommendations from readers I know who have the same tastes as me. Interestingly enough, after I read this book, I went looking for reviews because I wanted to know what others thought of the book. I didn't find any at the more major romance review sites. This book had great potential and failed to deliver