I’m actually really annoyed that I have to give this book such a low rating being a debut…It had all the right elements for a really good historical romance….a tortured heroine with a curse, a hero with a family tragedy and that great opening scene of a duel on the moors! But sadly these just weren’t mixed well within the pages and I was mostly confused and bored and skim read at least 20% of the book.
Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke has determined Lord Paul has ruined his sister Alice, hence resulting in her suicide. Now he plans on exacting his revenge on Lord Paul by stealing his fiancé from him and also to save another innocent young lady from ruin. The cursed Lady Claire Canvensham is currently engaged to Lord Paul, her fourth fiancé. Claire desperately wants a family of her own but her previous engagements have never quite gone through. Lord Paul suddenly calls off their engagement too, on the day of their engagement party, until Alexander Hallworth shocks her family by announcing their engagement. Two people with hidden secrets come together in a hasty union and when love starts to bloom between them, these secrets threaten their marriage and new found love.
Ok the curse….what exactly was the curse? I still don’t know…it was very very vague…a witching ball was also thrown in there too…also some gypsy was mentioned but never explained? But yeap still no idea…
The characters….Claire and Alex…they were both just so weakly developed and really didn’t have much personality at all. I found them difficult to like and relate to. Pembrooke started lusting after Claire almost instantly which is of course quite commonly done in romance, but this felt very weird rather than romantic. The secondary characters also were weak but seemed to fare better with their personalities shining through than Claire and Alex.
There was a LOT going on this book with very few explanations or detailed subplot developments, hence why I think it felt very confusing and messy right from the beginning. The characters developed eventually but you had to grab their personalities from different parts of the book and you could only piece them together towards the end, which is a bit too late to like or relate to them. Towards the end of the book, I was happy that Claire got her happy ending.
Janna MacGregor has the talent to write well, but with more order and synchronisation in her work, her talent really has the potential to shine through.
*Thank-you Janna MacGregor, Netgalley & St. Martin’s Paperbacks for the ARC.