I can't believe I finished this. It got a star for the plot's premise, half a star for being relatively well edited and a half star as a bonus because I didn't DNF it.
Where to start...
I liked the series premise, about a secret library that holds the rarest, secret or unknown manuscripts from around the world, but as the series progresses, the author falls into the common trap of writing herself into corners from which she can't escape without abusing a reader's ability to suspend disbelief. This book has the manager of the Storyton Inn haring off to the Biltmore Estate to rescue her lover from a dungeon. Where he's being held by a renegade faction of the Templars. Along side her:
long-thought dead (9 years) husband,
who's being held in the dungeon next door. Give. me. a. break. I hate this trope so much, I almost DNF'd it on the spot.
Then I had to endure constant philosophical musings about love, the power of love, the power of family, more crap about love. And the villain was supposed to be super evil, but I just didn't feel it. I mean, he was definitely without redeeming qualities, but evil? Eh.
The ending ... was eye-rolling. I'm sorry, but it involved blow darts, and the most insanely insincere scene where the MC confronts her ignorance about cultural insensitivity that I've ever read. Honestly, it's so badly done I'm tempted to quote it, but to do that I'd have to read it again.
The author would have gotten a tiny bonus for not taking that spoiler above to the most nauseating conclusion possible, or stringing it painfully over several books, but by the time it was resolved I'd lost the will to give any bonus points.
What kept me reading this farce was the idea of Hemingway's lost suitcase being hidden in the Inn and the search through letters and correspondence for clues to find it. And that 10% of the book was kind of good, though the eventual conclusion was a bit deflating as it was so predictable.
I think it's safe to say I'm done with this series, but I read it for the Black Cat square in Halloween Bingo, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.