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A TALE OF TWO HALVES
on 14 September 2012
CONTAINS SPOILERS When James Ryburn Earl of Islay and heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, is forced by his father the Duke to marry his best friend Theodora Saxby. He is mortified. For Theodora was his father's ward, and had lived in their household with her mother, since the death of her father.
The current Duke, Jame's father had almost bankrupted the estate, and to make matters worse he had even stolen some of Theodoras dowry to fritter away on his hairbrained schemes. Although James struggles with the idea of deceiving Theodora, or as he calls her Daisy. He still goes ahead and marries her. Theodora had not realised that her feelings ran so deep for James until he had kissed her and asked for her hand.
But all good things must come to an end. In this case it is when Theodora overhears the Duke and James arguing, and she discovers why James really married her. Devastated she asks him to leave, and to never return, or she will see that his father goes to prison. But seven years later, just as Theodora was going to have James legally declared dead. Like he proverbial bad penny he returns. Expecting to reclaim his wife and position in society as though nothing had happened.
For the past seven years James had been a pirate "Jack Hawk" and he had not been living a celibate life either.
This book is in two parts, and to be honest it felt like two different stories. The first part I enjoyed, but the scond part was very disappointing, for a big chunk of it is spent on describing the H/h separate lives, I have to be honest and say that I skimmed a lot of that, it was boring. So that left the reader with a few chapters at the end to reunite the two leads. If the author had spent a bit less time on describing their lives apart, and more time on James reappearance, I might have liked this more. As it was the ending felt rushed. I thought Theodora forgave James too quick, it wasn't realistic. I also didnt like his excuse for having more than one mistress during his seven year absence. It was because Theodora told him never to return, but he had! So it did matter.
I usually enjoy this authors books but not so much this time. The story felt unbalanced and it didn't flow. I didn't warm to the characters very much either.