This book starts out very well. Up to about page 100 I thought it would be one of my best reads ever, and that is saying something because I read a lot. It is an entertaining book, but there are far too many secondary characters, many of whom are not even introduced as far as I could tell. New names crop up here and there; by the time I was three quarters of the way through I gave up caring who they were really and just carried on reading.
I liked the two main characters, The Duke of Derringer, and Leandra, for the most part. The only issue I had was that at times they both seem to be bipolar! Their behaviour is very inconsistent. This may be intentional, because The Duke had suffered a childhood trauma which could have left him unstable, and the circumstances surrounding Leandra's birth meant that she was always seen as an outsider in her family. However, I feel that the writer could have spent more time on character development of the main characters, rather than spending too much time on insignificant characters.
Jaimey Grant obviously has a talent for writing a gripping story and keeping the reader engaged, because the first half of the book is amazing. The second half needed work to make it believable. There were times I was left questioning how certain things had taken place e.g. how did the Captain of the Ship where Derringer was being held captive manage to send missives out to Leandra? How would they have got to her? This was not explained at all.
The book didn't really flow well in regard to continuation of certain threads in the book, for example, the letter that was found hidden in Derringer's mother's old notebook. I know the intention was that the reader should not find out this information until the end of the book, but the way in which it was written was a little annoying. As a reader I didn't like being kept dangling for too many chapters.
The ending was nice, but the run up to the ending was a bit rushed I think.
On the whole a good plot, nicely written, but I would personally have liked to see more of the main characters.
A note to the author: Sometimes what doesn't work too well as a novel would work beautifully as a film or a play. In this case, I could really see this book as a very powerful film, or maybe a play in the theatre. I would definitely go and see it!
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)