My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I think this book is now vying for top place in my list of Melanie Dickerson favorites. It was very well written and had a lot of suspense.
Mrs. Dickerson does such a wonderful job of giving characters real backgrounds and reasons for acting the way they do. Lord Withinghall doesn’t like Leorah Langdon at first because he has a fear of energetic, boisterous, pretty women. Why? Because his father fell into temptation with one (I won’t say because of one since I am sure that he probably had a bad mindset before he met this woman and wasn’t simply seduced by her). In other words, the Viscount is afraid of following in his father’s path in any way and so he stays away from what his boyish mind had found to blame when he the event occurred: the pretty, energetic woman. So he hides and suppresses his own feelings and expects others to suppress their own so that all might stay away from temptation…wrong mindset here.
That’s where Leorah Langdon comes into the picture. I’m not entirely sure I agree with everything she said, with everything she stood for. At times I thought she might resemble a certain Elizabeth Bennet, but at other times I found her too modern and entirely too opinionated for her time. While I enjoyed the banter back and forth between Leorah and the Viscount, at times I felt it was overdone. I found myself almost cringing at what they said to each other.
That said, I did still thoroughly enjoy this book. As always, I loved how Mrs. Dickerson switched back and forth between the third person “personal” view points. It just makes the story so much more entertaining to get to see things from both main characters’ point of view.
Lastly, the romance! I was very impressed and happy with how Mrs. Dickerson handled the romance in this novel. I felt the characters acted mature and not simply controlled by their feelings. I felt that they truly cared for each other. I felt that the kisses mentioned were not ones thrown away for the feeling of pleasure, but ones given in love and with care.
There are some more mature themes in the book (adultery in various forms etc.) so I would recommend this book for older teens.
Rating (# out of 5):
Violence: 3.5 (Lord Withinghall’s coach driver was killed in an accident that overturned his carriage, broke his leg, and cut a bleeding gash in his forehead. He is shot at multiples times in an attempt to kill him. A man burning with revenge tries to jump toward him and strangle him. Leorah breaks her wrist falling off her horse.)
Romance: 3.5 (The lower rating is simply as a warning about the more mature themes of adultery. I would give it a four in every other point.)
Language: 5 (None that I can remember)
Don’t be satisfied with mediocrity!