I enjoyed the first few chapters because the story was so engrossing. The characters were lively and believable. But then reading on, I got to know the hero Jack. I came to find him immature, petty, and close-minded. I liked the heroine Olivia ("Livvie"), but could not understand what she found in the hero. Yes he's good looking and romantic. But he's weak through and through. Of course as with all love stories, he redeemed himself. Not enough, though. Not nearly enough. This was a total mismatch.
I was also dissatisfied that Jack never fully regained his memory and it left a lot of holes. He and Livvie had been estranged for more than 4 years, so there was a lot to be filled up and explained. The events were patchy and explanations inconclusive.
Other than that, I though the author wrote wonderfully, using colorful description, and rich characterizations. This was a historical romance and I didn't find any anachronisms. I've been having a surfeit of that lately and this one bucks the trend.
If you're looking for an engrossing romance with a hero to die for, skip this book. If you're looking for an author who can write historical fiction without romance, try this one.
Liked this one a lot and thought it the best one yet of the series. For starters, it has more fun and adventure and... swashbuckling!
Second, the steamy sex scenes for which LS is famous and which I skipped for the most part as it was same o same o, was taken care of the first few chapters. With that out the way, the plot picked up fast with the h/h and friends on the run and one step ahead of the villains. They did encounter real dangers and came out of one very tight nail biting scene quite victorious, albeit with cuts and bruises.
Third, h/h knew almost right away that they were fated to be together. About 3 quarters into the book, they already knew they loved each other and that they would marry. No mushy soul-searching revelations at the end.
Fourth, no BIG MISUNDERSTANDING, which is one of my pet peeves as it sometimes gets so convoluted, taking up much of the book that the romance suffers.
Fifth, the h/h in this book are commoners. They are not snobs, are down to earth, no-nonsense and practical. I'm a little tired of LS' usual blue-blooded h/h's, who at times I find too perfect.
I can't wait for the last 4th installment. I hope that one tops this.
Hero is a bastard of an earl. He's also an orphan and has no family. I think this is LS' first. It's sweet that he found a ready-made family with the heroine, who takes in children orphaned from shipwrecks and schools them in trade. She's got a big house, a sizable estate on an island she pretty much owns. She's also a businesswoman, runs a shipping line and in fact captains her own ship!
All 3 stories are reprints. Falling Stars by L. Chase first appeared in Avon Books Presents A Christmas Collection (I give this 4 out of 5 stars); Gifts of the Heart by J. French in Avon Books Presents Under the Mistletoe (didn't read, so no comment); and A Christmas Present by L. Kleypas in Avon Books Presents Christmas Love Stories (4 stars).
My least liked of the series so far. The first was the best, next was okay, this one I only got so far as the third chapter when I gave up and jumped to the ending. Oh well, I hope book 4 redeems the author as that one's on my wish list.