Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.
I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.
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I feel like I am the only one in the world that didn't like this. Looking at the reviews all I see is stars. I wanted to like this. I wanted to very badly. But I just couldn't. Some of my qualms may be personal preference, others may be actual dislikes. Let's look at the SCORE.
The third in the Turner series, Smite Turner is a magistrate in Bristol known for his ruthless fairness. Miranda Darling is a poor young woman, raised by actors, living in the slums of Bristol with her 12 year old ward, Robbie. For protection, she asked The Patron, a sort of Godfather of the slums, to help her for something in the past in exchange for her acting abilities.
She meets Smite in court where he recognizes her instantly because he has a good memory. This leads to that and they end up together more than not (this is a romance).
Well let me try to complain without spoilers... this plot just seemed really weak to me. Everything seemed to exist to wrap up what we learned about Smite in the other books. It just seemed forced and out of place most of the time. The character of Robbie seemed like a plot point and that was the reason for his existence. The story was really about how we can get Smite to work out his demons and become Prince Charming.
The whole Patron plot was I guess suppose to be the main story that was followed, but again it just felt shoved in there.
Romance tropes abounded in this story. I wish I had started a count, and some for absolutely no reason. So there is that, too.
Smite was the lead male, and he could have been more awesome than he was. I did like his "I don't lie" trait and his memory, but something didn't sit right with me about him. The story was mostly about Smite and his demons.
Miranda was your common heroine who came from the gutter but can hold herself like a lady. She was almost Mary-Sue like, but I don't know if I would go that far. I would place her close to the mark though. She can mimic accents, can manipulate and lie like the best of them, is hidden beautiful...
Robbie I mentioned was more of a plot device as were some of the other slum characters. The four leads from the other two books make an appearance to help with Smite's growth.
God, I don't know. I think everything could have been handled better and I am mad for not being able to specifically say why... even if I had spoilers. It was just disappointing. Everyone seemed picked from a bag of romance novel characters. Not unique and forgettable.
Speaking of not unique and forgettable, welcome to the romance. I really hated how they got together and how early it was. I like a little romantic tension in my books and I got so few moments from this book.
I don't know what else to say about the romance except that it seemed secondary to healing Smite.
So yeah. Let's move to the execution.
If I had good things to say, it is about Courtney Milan. Her writing is awesome most of the time. And the prose here was entertaining despite my frustration. I mean, I did finish it!
However, adding to my negativeness, I did notice a LOT of repetition in this book, sometimes complete sentences! I don't want to blame it on the self-published aspect, because her latest novella I bought was excellent and well edited. This one though, I just couldn't look past it.
Overall, I was disappointed. It was a readable story, just not something I would place in the "awesome" category. I expected more because of the first book, I wanted more because of the second book. But what I got was a book full of tropes and was generally uninteresting. Written compellingly, but almost a chore to read.
But again, I seem to be in the minority according to this site. If you liked the other two, you may like this one. It is unfortunate this it is not available from to many libraries though because of the self-pubbed aspect... maybe I wouldn't feel so put out if I didn't buy it... *sigh* Hopefully it was better for you.