Adequate Romance That Doesn’t Live Up to Quinn’s Later Books
“She’d never been one to back down from a challenge.”
FINAL DECISION: This is a perfectly adequate book but lacks the depth, clever humor and complexity of Quinn’s later works. If I had read this book first, I think I would have liked it better.
THE STORY: Lady Arabella Blydon had had two seasons and has rejected numerous proposals then she meets the neighbor of her closest friends. John Blackwood, a newly minted Baron returned from war with a limp, and shadows and regrets which haunt him and make him unworthy of a woman like Belle. At the same time, he has a hidden enemy that threatens his life. Even when John rejects Belle for her own good, he cannot forget the bluestocking who has stolen his heart.
OPINION: This is a typical and pleasant Regency historical romance. There is a bit of darkness (the hero is haunted by his war past), some humor, some mystery and suspense (who is trying to kill the hero) along with your expected romance. For me, the most successful part of this book is the humor. Unfortunately, the remainder of the story is fine but I never felt there was any real darkness or real danger. The book lacked the urgency and depth to suggest that there was anything really endangering the hero and heroine.
This book is pleasant and I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t help but compare the book to Quinn’s more recent novels. Unfortunately, this book suffers in the comparison. The characters are flatter and less complex, the story is pretty straightforward without any real danger involved. As a result, the book is one that is enjoyable and a nice read but not one I would come back to.
WORTH MENTIONING: There are some significant appearances by the characters of the series which will please those who read SPLENDID.
CONNECTED BOOKS: DANCING AT MIDNIGHT is the second book in the Splendid or Blydon Trilogy. It can be read as a standalone.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.