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I found Tessa's past work so amazing. It's hard to believe that the same author who wrote independent, self assured female characters like Susanna Finch and Minerva Highwood would write a novel that romanticizes crazy stalker abusive behavior.
This book was written in such uninspiring prose that I actually checked to see if,perhaps, it was one of her unpublished early writings.Nope. Then I figured it was the fact that the book was printed in somewhat larger type and spaced so it appeared to be a strung out novella. Again,I believe I was wrong. The characters are simply silly or over the top (that boy? Really???). The heroine acts and thinks like she's prepubescent and the hero acts and thinks unsuitable to his position (an esteemed spy? I don't think so). Tessa Dare's writing is usually mesmerizing,intelligent and just plain wonderful to read; I haven't missed one of her books yet. Unfortunately this one was so juvenile I simply couldn't finish it and picked up my copy of another one of hers to reread so I could love her once more. What happened here???
The writing and the word choices felt modern, and repetitive. I did not feel that I was reading a historical romace book at all.....just could not get into the book. I have no idea how there we're so many positive reviews...maybe I missed something but the book did not flow for me. I read 46% of the book and finally gave up.
Dissenting opinion , it seems, but I found this book silly. I gave up on it around 50%, decided to try again and it didn't improve. I gave up for good at 77%. H&H are forced to get engaged because the are caught together in a room. After that they are repeatedly alone (all night) and nobody notices. The heroine pursues a mystery and fails.. It seems like this is supposed to be comedic, but it's not funny. The heroine decides she wants to be a spy, on a whim , with no training or experience. I've generally liked Tessa Dare's books, but this one is silly.
Like many of the other reviewers, I've read all of Tessa's books and had looked forward to this one. It was a real let-down. It started off well enough. But it was quite obvious to me who the other couple was. POSSIBLE SPOILER - Once the other couple was known, it made no sense why Charlotte and Piers were forced to become engaged. (And, like one of the other reviewers, I hated the name Piers. If this was supposed to be a nod to Pierce Brosnan as 007, well... ick. Don't like James Bond. REALLY don't like Brosnan.) The sex education lesson I assume was meant to be humorous, but just came out as... crass and puerile. I allow for some suspension of strict adherence to the norms of the time period, but there were many instances of Charlotte behaving *wholly inappropriately* for the Regency era. Way too progressive for 1819. Sadly, the last few books have really been going downhill in quality.
This heroine is too juvenile and the story is too juvenile. It's trying to be humorous but the effort is painfully obvious and the result is something a pre-teen (maybe) could stomach. I have liked several of this author's books before; she has taken a seriously wrong turn with this one.