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.
Feel free to follow and reblog!
Madeline is a spinster almost ready to live her life alone, but not until she has one last hurrah. In her case, it is acting in a stage play of Hamlet. Ferguson is a misunderstood rake who desires nothing to do with being a duke and longs to return to Scotland. Both of the leads have strong and weak qualities to them, which is great in developing well rounded characters. I didn't love either of them, but I didn't hate them either, and I particularly enjoyed certain aspects of each. That is probably one of the more vauge statements that I have written. Let me see if I can extrapolate.
Let's take Madeline. She is courageous enough to step out of her shell and take a risk, but also overly cautious about love due to some issues from her past. At the same time, some of those issues almost come across as a bit petty. So that is why I don't really hate her, but I can't love her either.
I think what I enjoyed about them the most was their passion for each other. The romance/steamy scenes between the two of them were awesome. I really enjoyed all of that. True story, I had to turn the little overhead air fan on while reading on the airplane I was so flushed from reading the love scenes.
The story was particularly engaging and unique with the whole acting/mistress aspect. That is really where to story focuses. The weak parts have to come in the beginning. The first chapter was extremely hard for me to read because I kept getting confused. There was a serious backstory dump at the introduction of each new character, and since chapter one is where you meet most of the new characters, I was lost despite my slower reading speed. But once I sorted it all out getting into the story came easier. My next issue came at the end though. It seemed a bit anti-climactic and the happily ever after was just ... there. I didn't feel like too much conflict resolution had happened and it was all of a sudden okay. I don't know, this may be a little nit-picky.
Overall, I enjoyed it and that is what matters. I definitely enjoyed it enough to pick up the next one when it comes out. Who would I recommend this to? If you are historical romance reader looking for something that is different than the norm, check it out. Once your through the first chapter, its a good read :)
Review also posted on The Competitive Bibliomaniac