Much ADO about Rogues (Blackthorn Brothers Novels) Mass Market Paperback – 20 Mar 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Jack works for the crown, doing super-secret government missions. His latest assignment is to track down his missing mentor. That means he must confront the man's daughter, Tess, who was once his great love. Four years ago, he was involved in a plot with her dad that ended with the death of her twin brother. She was never able to forgive him. It turns out, though, that her father is the real villain. While he pretended to work for the crown, he was more interested in his secret job as an antiquities thief. And he never cared about his children as much as his stolen treasures.
Once Jack fills Tess in on her father's true nature, they must work together to track the man down. But time after time, they realize that they are dancing to her father's tune. You see, Daddy is uber-brilliant, and is always several steps ahead. He is hoping to draw out Jack to help him foil his other protege, the Gypsy. And he's willing to fight dirty to get what he wants.
We get the details on Tess and Jack's initial love story as the couple looks back on what went wrong. That was kind of disappointing, because we miss out on all the delicious new love/ attraction build-up. The couple starts the book with all this history behind them and they're already mired in angst. Of course, the mission puts them on the road to reconciliation. It's not a bad romance, but it wasn't great either.
There were two major things I didn't like about the book. One was puppetmaster quality of Tess' father. It's hard to swallow that the man is so dastardly brilliant that he has master plans that span years and pulls everyone's strings. It was too much. (Plus, I found the resolution to his part of the storyline to be very anticlimactic.)
My other issue was the pacing. The book wasn't terribly long, but it felt like it was. Perhaps it's because there was so much more story even after the plot surrounding Tess' dad was put to bed. Maybe because I found the backstory on Jack's parents to be so terribly convoluted and unbelievable. Or maybe it was that it all ended in a way that was much too convenient. I'm not sure. I just know that it felt like it went on and on and left me disappointed. 3 stars.
Don John "Black Jack" Blackthorn, one of the Blackthorn Bastards, is a mystery and a menace. Soon after his 18th birthday, Jack left home to find his own way. When his mentor goes missing, he must track him down. He returns to his mentor's home to look for clues and discovers the man's daughter--the woman he loved and betrayed. Lady Tess Fonteneau learned from the master spy herself, but was rarely allowed to assist with missions. Now that her father is missing, she won't sit on the sidelines and insists on helping to find him. Soon Jack and Tess are uncovering several mysteries and questioning the "truths" they once knew.
I was intrigued by Jack the first time he showed up in The Taming of the Rake (Hqn). He obviously had some mad skills and dedication, but I wanted to know where he learned these from and who broke his heart. We get all those answers and more. His mother is a master manipulator and it was amazing to see her influence on him and how it came full circle. His mother is a piece of work, and I was so happy to see how it all played out with her.
I always love the premise of "lovers reunite" so this story of Jack and Tess who once burned hot and bright for each other was perfect for me. Their reunion was great to watch as they slowly came to trust each other again and reexamine all they thought they knew about their break-up.
The mystery of Tess' missing father unraveled smoothly and slowly built the tension of a greater threat that encompassed so much more than just her father. It was nicely done without feeling like it was contrived, but as if a master was a work.
I'm really glad that I gave this third book a try as I found that original spunk I enjoyed in the first and found lacking in the second. I would highly recommend the first and third book and only marginally recommend the second--if only to keep pace with the series. Each one is a stand-alone book, but more enjoyable if you read them all.
The Blackthorn Brothers Series
The Taming of the Rake (Hqn)
A Midsummer Night's Sin (Blackthorn Brothers)
MUCH ADO ABOUT ROGUES
The entire storyline fraught with danger, mystery, intrigue and a fair share of romance. In fact, I truly enjoyed the "rediscovering" romance that was between Tess and Jack. They shared something intimate years prior but after the death of Tess's brother things hit the ceiling. Tess told Jack to leave and he did. Over the years things have change and Tess's father is missing. With Jack on the case, all is about to be revealed. *Wicked laugh*
Much Ado is an impressively written novel with adventure at the fingertips. No matter what point of the story I found myself there was always something happening. Riveting story!
Reviewed by JoAnne
Review Copy Provided by Netgalley
This is the third book of the Blackthorn Brothers series and I look forward to reading the first two. This historical set mainly in England kept me interested from the first page to the last. The story was not what I expected, but so much better. There was intrigue, suspense, love, romance, family, theatrics and lots of action. The three brothers, although Jack was a stepbrother, seemed to get along and were there for each other when it counted. Their "father" was often made the fool by their mother who flitted in and out of their life as she saw fit. Tess was a strong woman - definitely living before her time since most girls her age would have been simpering on the sidelines and not in the thick of things. The imagery of the locations and the fights and altercations were vivid in their descriptions so it was easy to think yourself there. The ending had the requisite happily ever afters and there were a few of them. There were a lot of twists and turns to the storyline to get you there but the story wouldn't have been the same without them. I look forward to reading more books by Michaels in the future.
Favorite Quote: Now he could be so incensed with her he wanted to throttle her, for God's sake, but the thought of ever leaving her, any notion of a life without her, was too ludicrous to contemplate. Loving her, furious with her, obsessed with her, angry or wanting or laughing or hurting, arguing or frustrated or simply baffled by the way her mind worked-she was a part of him now, and he was a part of her.
This is a story about finding your identity. Jack Blackthorn, the middle Blackthorn brother, and the last one to be written about, has been the black sheep of his family for the last 10 years or so. After leaving home at age 18, he struggled to find his place in the world. He was taken in by the Marquise Fonteneau, who teaches him some very useful spycraft. During his time with the Marquise, Jack falls in love with his daughter, Tess. However, things do not end well when Tess blames Jack for the death of her twin brother. Jack leaves and enters the clandestine service of the Crown.
When the Marquise disappears, Jack is sent to find him. Jack and Tess have to learn to work together on several fronts.....they have to figure out what happened to the Marquise, what happened that night Tess' brother died, and who is really calling the shots. On top of that, Tess has to examine her relationship with her father and come to terms with it. Jack also has to examine his relationship with his parents and his brothers and see if he can set aside years of hurt feelings to become reunited with them.
I haven't read the other 2 books in the trilogy, but I will probably look them up. I enjoyed this book - there were so many twists and turns in the search for the Marquise that it was sometimes to determine who was on whose side. I've read other reviews that said they missed the "getting to know you" part of the relationship, but I didn't. It was nice to see how people reconnect after a number of years apart, especially when they didn't part on good terms, and there are so many secrets between them.
I received this book from the publisher as part of the NetGalley program in exchange for an honest review.