on March 1, 2014 :
This book would have received five stars if it was a full book, but it's not. Sadly, it's just half a book. or maybe only 1/3 or less for all I know. Of all the subplots in this book -- and there are many! -- only ONE of them gets resolved. And the main plot doesn't get resolved at all. Forget a HEA or even HFN ending. There's no ending, period. The book is chopped off with the heroine's life in peril, having only FINALLY gotten to the beginning of the romance. About 50 pages from the "end" I started wondering how the author was going to tie all the subplots together in only 50 pages. 3 pages from the end she introduced 6 new characters and I got an awful suspicion that turned out to be correct. No ending.
Now I'm an author too, and I understand that writer's need to make money. That's fine. Tell me you're giving me a 50% preview and I'll understand and make a decision whether or not to buy when I get to the end of the sample. But cutting a book off like this is NOT the way to go.
At $5.99, the other half of the book is a pricey "sequel." I'm a bit leery of buying the 2nd half of the book because I don't know that she'll finish the book in the 2nd half, after my experience with this one.
Despite that, I'll tell you what IS good about the book because I really did like it A LOT.
The heroine has a dark secret and I DO mean DARK. Pretty much as dark as they come, and a subject that's usually a no-go in romance. She's also feisty and intelligent and darn interesting, yet sympathetic.
The romance in the book doesn't really exist. I'm assuming it's in book 2. Other than at the very end just before it gets cut off, she sees the love interest as no more than just a friend. He of course, is madly in love with her.
The subplots are fascinating as well with Georgiana trying to care for the poor, in particular a young pickpocket, heal her relationship with her brother, deal with her mom (a character whom the reader will despise - and a character does have to be pretty well drawn to be this despicable!), deal with with the vagaries of her wastrel husband (his secret was pretty easy to guess at - I had him pinned from the first scene we meet him in - but I'm still wondering how she's going to get rid of him to reach a HEA, because he doesn't seem like a bad guy.), she takes over the running of the estate and then becomes part of a smuggling ring, and she's got the law trying to get her to find a spy. Whew! Busy lady!
All of the major characters are well drawn and believable. Okay, at first I felt Georgiana's perspective was a bit too anachronistically modern for a regency era heroine, but her reasons for feeling that way make sense, so it works.
The deep dark secret is treated with care. Horrific enough to make the reader sympathize with her choices, but written not so graphically that the reader runs screaming away.
I did feel that the last few scenes got rushed a bit, jumping around to put Georgiana in peril in every single one of the subplots. (I think hubby's at least could have waited, since it was already blatantly obvious what it was.)
(review of free book)