This entire book felt like a preview to its successor, Prince of Dreams. Almost like it was written as an afterthought. Luke and Tasia's story is compelling, but the conflicts are resolved too quickly and with minimal drama. I expected more from Kleypas, who is a great author. Still, if you are a Kleypas fan, you should put this on your list.
mediocre. My least favorite Kleypas in quite a while. Overbearing and insufferable hero...very hard to like. Crippled by a lukewarm storyline and a slow moving plot. Try Dreaming of You, which is excellent and by the same author, instead.
Though not stellar, Again the Magic, another Kleypas, was also better. This wasn't even as charming as the Wallflowers books - at least the characters in that series were likeable, and the dialogue more entertaining - and less stilted and irritating. This was yet another book where I felt the heroine, the "exotic beauty" could have done better - after all, I wouldn't have the crabby b*stard, so what the heck is she thinking?
A little background first: I love Regencies. And I definitely love Lisa Kleypas books. There are a quite a few that have found a permanent home on my bookshelves, and get re-read on a regular basis.
Sadly, the kindest word I can come up with for this book is "clunky". The less kind words I can find are "distressing", "unpalatable", "squicky", and "unreasonable". If this were SBTR, I'd give this book a D. I finished it... but not out of enjoyment.
The romance unfolds in a very disjointed, unbelievable way. We have no idea why the heroine changes her mind about the hero, she just does and they tumble in to bed. The epilogue adds approximately nothing to the book. The age differences between the hero and heroine, as well as the hero's daughter and the character that seems to be set up for her future love interest are fairly large, and get in to very squicky territory. The villain has a complete and total change of heart, unrealistically. All of the characters may as well be cardboard for how much depth they had.
I really wish I had liked this. I definitely did not.
Russian Noblewoman Anastasia Kaptereva has been arrested for the murder of her fiancee after being found unconscious near his body with a bloody knife in her hand. Faking her own death, she escapes from her prison and makes her way to England where she finds a position as a governess to Emma Stokehurst. Lord Lucas Stokehurst has agreed to give Tasia a job for a month as a favor to a friend. He is a stern man who finds his only joy in his daughter. But after getting to know Tasia, Lucas may have found a woman he can love...at least until her past catches up with her.
This story started out very slowly and dragged through the middle. I had a hard time warming up to Lucas Stokehurst. The last part of the book was a little more interesting and sets up the next book in the series. My rating: 3.5 to 4 Stars.
This has all the outward earmarks of a romance novel, with a beautiful young Russian noblewoman, wrongly accused of a crime, who flees to England, where she takes a post as governess to a brooding, tortured nobleman. But it does manage to avoid the worst of the cliches until the (non)climax, which is infuriatingly illogical.