4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
First part great, second part - not so much.,
This review is from: The Ugly Duchess: Number 4 in series (Fairy Tales) (Kindle Edition)
I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. I picked it up after I'd read a book which had disappointed me and was immediately captivated. Theo/Daisy and James were such engaging characters and although their progression from faux brother and sister to a pair of horny love-birds may have bit a bit quick, I thought it worked given that they're very young (she's seventeen, he's nineteen) and that their discovery that they fancied each other was so fast as to be a novelty.
Daisy's anger and sense of betrayal when she finds out that James married her under orders from his father is completely understandable, especially given all the name-calling she's endured since her marriage, and her own insecurities. It also makes sense that she would throw James out on his ear.
That scene was absolutely gut-wrenching and I was desperate to find out how the author was going to fix it and bring them back together.
But that was when things started to fall apart for me. I didn't so much mind the fact that the H&H were separated for a time, but the idea that James became a pirate/privateer, even given the circumstances in which it happened, and then stayed away for seven years just didn't make sense. And then that business with the head-shaving, the tattoo and the re-invention as Jack Hawk... I suppose one's view of that depends on whether one finds shaven-heads and facial tattoos attractive, and personally, I don't. And I'm sure that had an impact on my reaction to the second part of the book.
Things picked up a bit when James and Theo were reunited, but once again, something didn't feel quite right. The reconciliation happened too quickly, I think. After seven years away, Theo has a right to feel angry, and to make James suffer a bit - but she doesn't, and they seem to have resolved everything between them in one night of passion! I would have preferred a longer time-frame and to have seen Theo and James make necessary adjustments in their daily lives, as well as learning how Theo starts to unbend and regain her sense of fun.
The Ugly Duchess feels almost like it's two different stories tacked together. The first part worked really well, but the second was patchy. Overall, a 3.5 star read for me.