I enjoyed this clean, historical, western romance. I voluntarily chose to review it and I've given it a 4.5* rating. This Big beautiful series reminds us that we are not all small ladies, and I appreciate that. What is more, not all men want tiny little women. So with that thought in mind, on to the next in this set.
A much better book than the first, Winterborne and Helen are a delightful pair. I think Helen is one of my favorite heroines. She is kind, intelligent, sensitive and a delightful sweetheart. She's decisively not annoying which is a big yay for me. Rhys Winterborne got on my nerves on the first book by the end but he's truly a charming man. His chemistry with Helen is off the charts and it is clear to us from the very beginning, a vast improvement from the previous book.
Why not a full five stars? Some sex scenes, in my opinion, could not be enjoyed because I was just too upset about the secret Helen was keeping from Winterborne. I understand her reasoning for not saying anything but damn, I needed her to speak up. The end got solved real quickly but at that point, I just wanted them together for good.
My review got chewed up by GoodReads. The pain is real.
The short version: if you can get past the first 100 lackluster pages and lower your expectations, the book isn't too terrible. I hated the hero and the heroine for a good measure of the book. They didn't have an ounce of chemistry for those first 100 pages. Hell, the heroine had more chemistry with her horse than with the hero. They fall in love completely out of nowhere. While the sexual chemistry appears late in the game, it is there and it is pretty steamy.
The secondary characters (West is the best, Helen is a sweetheart and Hamlet is so cute) save the book from being a total disaster.
The book felt like a giant prequel for the second book, with the main couple at times taking a backseat to Helen and Winterborne. After what Winterborne did near the end, I have my reservations about him, but because I am trash, I'm reading the second book.
First of all, this book is nothing like the movie.
I knew that going in but maybe a lot of people won't so I am trying to save many a soul from the disappointing experience I went through when I read Under the Tuscan Sun.
This book started out very promising. I was quickly enveloped in the brief explanation of how the Romeo & Juliet myth came to life. It was directly related to a class I was taking at the moment in Verona so I was doubly interested. However, from the middle to the end, it became boring. Like another reviewer said, it read more like a textbook. It also bugged me that none of the secretaries (all women) were named in the book.
Overall, a great read for those who are big fans of the play and want to know more about the city of Verona through the eyes of the Romeo & Juliet myth.