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Escaping into My Books

I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)

Currently reading

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Mackenzi Lee, Christian Coulson
A Hint of Wicked - Jennifer Haymore

The description of this story really intrigued me, and I was anticipating a good romance read that did not follow the normal pattern of most romance books. Reading romance you come to expect the basic plot lines and story twists, so every once in a while it is nice to break out of that pattern and be surprised. Most of the time it is very satisfying if done correctly. This book was good in that it has a pretty unique plot for historical romance, and on top of that...it has a secondary storyline that also strays from norm.

Sophie's first love and husband is missing and presumed dead at the battle of Waterloo. For many years she has searched for him in hopes that he will turn up, and throughout those years Tristan, Garret's close childhood friend and hers, remained by her side. After seven years of hoping, Sophie finally has Garrett declared dead and decides to move on. Tristan also lost his wife in those years to childbirth...so they are both now free to act on their feelings for each other and they marry. The book opens a year later when a night of love making is interrupted by none other than Garrett himself. He is pissed off and angry...and a bit unstable...but he is her husband and intends to reassert himself. Tristan, who has always loved Sophie since childhood but did not pursue her due to Garrett, refuses to give her up and vows to fight for her even when his marriage to her is annulled as illegal by the courts. Sophie is torn between the two men: One who was her first love and whom she pined for for years..and one who she loves just as much and who she has experienced more freedom with than ever with her life.

But we also see from the start that something is amiss with Garrett. He is erratic and angry. He shows up with a man named Fisk who he claims saved his life in battle and who found him years later and brought him back to himself. He had lost his memory for years and Fisk nursed him back to health and took care of him. He gives Fisk unprecedented access to his finances and life and listens to him above all others. He also treats Sophie like a prisoner in her own home...out of fear that she will run off and his possessive nature. And despite their many years of friendship, he treats Tristan like a criminal who stole his life, the reader gets and idea though, that he is working off false information. As the book progresses the mystery of Fisk and his role in Garrets illness and state of mind is revealed as both Sophie and Tristan start to doubt him. It is unraveled throughout the book, and till the end of the book...Fisk's story is still not really fully resolved.

The main complaint with the book is the Fisk angle. I liked the mystery and suspense portion of the book ...and that storyline was interesting. But I felt that more time was spent exploring and hashing out this portion of the story at the expense of the romance. Yeah I like when romance books do things differently...but I still expect the romance to me the main focus. With all the time spent on the mystery of Fisk, I felt like I did not get a good enough read of who the two men Sophie was stuck between were. So when she made her decision..it felt kind of random to me. I felt more time should have been spent building up the relationship between the three and convincing the reader that Sophie had reason to be torn. I did not fully buy it...especially with the way Garrett was acting in some portions of the book. I wanted to see both men competing for her and showing why they were worth the fight, and why she was so loyal to one or the other...instead we just got more focus on them solving the mystery of Fisk and chasing bad guys. So at the end..it felt a bit abrupt. I felt like I was reading more of a mystery than a romance.