Series: Gaius Ruso #5
I'm not sure why, but I found this one more engaging than I remember the other books in the series being. Of course, it still seemed to go on a while and some of the events seemed a bit ridiculous, but it was still mostly fun.
Ruso and Tilla found themselves back in Britain and Ruso is back in the army. He finds himself investigating some funny goings-on with the native recruits and Tilla gets involved, naturally.
This story is a wonderful blend of romance and fairy tale, with a little seasoning from Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Phantom of the Opera. Definitely not the children's version either! Isabelle Rose is the sweet and lovely heroine that captures your heart right away. Adam Delacroix and Raphael Dumont are both despicable characters but as you read further Adam's finer qualities shine and soon wins you over. Lot's of sexy and steamy scenes with a touch of a historic gothic element, this is a must read!
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I don't have anything clever to say. I honestly thought this was an okay book to pass the time with. I wasn't feeling well and didn't have a lot of mental energy to get myself worked up over reading something and this book fit the bill nicely. Was it exciting? Not really. Can I recall everyone's names? Nope. Did everything make sense? No, no it didn't. But I still enjoyed it because it was like being rocked to sleep in a hammock.
I read Kearsley years ago and fell in love with the time travel aspect of that book. This book has ghosts, kind of sort of, and flashbacks that didn't really add one thing to the book.
Celia Sands goes to Italy to star in a play that another woman with her same name was to star in, in the 1920s. Unfortunately, that Celia Sands disappeared, never to be seen again, and the play was haunted for years with unfortunate circumstances.
No, not that play.
Ceila goes to Venice, Italy with her godfather(?) who is going to be directing. I don't know. I am still puzzled by that relationship. Celia gets to Venice and after a few rough minutes of not liking the city, instantly falls in love with it. She and her godfather also meet another person who will be involved with the play and then all of them eventually make their way to a villa where the initial playwright lived and wrote his play for the first Celia.
The synopsis drew me in at first. But honestly the book just goes from scene to scene with no sense of urgency at all. Celia is pulled between two men. She tries to deny her interest in one of them. She grows closer to an older actress that is also going to be in the play, etc.
The character of Celia (present day) doesn't draw you in at all and neither does the Celia we get in flashback form via another character. I wish that Kearsley had given that Celia her own POV since that would have maybe worked a bit better. I was wondering who this woman was that she gave up everything to be with a malcontent older man who was not free to be with her. When we finally find out what happened to past Celia I seriously went, well of course.
I can't really speak about the other characters since I found them all to be pleasant, but boring. There is no real intrigue though Kearsley throws in a random murder. You can tell the good guys from the bad guys pretty easily. I think she thought she could throw readers a bit, but this is not my first romance.
Besides the first part of the book with Celia in Venice, nothing else felt very Italian. In fact, a few times I found myself wondering if was reading one of my art histories books. The text really didn't match what I think Kearsley was going for at all.
I found myself pretty much yawning when we get to the end that didn't really explain a lot of things. I really wish that Kearsley had upped the supernatural elements or nixed them entirely. I didn't know what this book wanted to be.