I've been a fan of the Haberdashers since the beginning and been waiting for Robert’s story rather eagerly. I get how he felt responsible for everyone and why he helped the girls be independent and determined since he was the oldest in the group. His dark and at-times selfish attitude were just a part of what he was, and whether I liked it or not, it was still Robert. In this story, we get to see a much different side of him.
“He will do anything for someone he loves. Not in the romantic sense, how the poets would woo you. In a very real sense, unbound by any restrictions of morality or self-preservation.”
Robert is the kind of person that stops at nothing to get what he wants, including putting those close to him in danger. Also, he’s always suspicious, always guarded, always vigilant. Thus, when he meets the enticing Imogen, he’s attracted to her but believes she might have been sent by one of his enemies to get information out of him. Lively Imogen has a special gift as she can feel other people’s emotions and see the color of their aura. This becomes handy when it comes to getting herself and the Haberdashers out of trouble but also when it comes to Robert as she gets to understand him better than anyone ever could. It wasn’t like Robert didn’t care about other’s welfare; it was more like he knew they were capable of handling themselves. It wasn’t that he was a cunning, cold-hearted man, but rather he was objective and liked order in his life to better handle any unforeseen situation and to better protect those around him. And Imogen saw past the controlling man. She was able to bring out the caring, tender, capable of all kinds of love man. All of that I liked.
“It might not be the sort of innocent adoration that many brides felt for their husbands, but she knew that what she felt for him was deep, and honest, and true. Perhaps he had a dark past, but it did not define him.”
I always loved Robert for what he was and I liked that his heroine was a strong, passionate, determined woman as well and not a meek, virginal debutant. However, I didn't like the fact he changed, because he does change for her, and that left me with a sort of vexing feeling. It was like in the end it wasn't really Robert.
I didn't like where his arc took him and I certainly hope that is not the last I hear him of him because all that intelligence, all that cleverness, all that passion cannot, I repeat, cannot end just there! It just felt as if he'd passed on the title of Head of Haberdashers to someone else and that just felt wrong… le sigh.
Anywho, as with past books, there is plenty of action and funny situations. The “girls” get to prove their skills and we get to hear the story from all of their POV, including the gentlemen’s, which I thought was very gratifying. This is the 4th book in the series so I’d suggest reading the series in order to get a better idea of who is who and not feel lost by jumping right in. I will definitely continue reading the series because now more than ever I want to know where the story will go from here and because I will not deny myself the pleasure of reading one of my favorite series.
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1Txq2sJ
In 1805 Robert Bittlesworth’s little sister and her two best friends decided to create a “boys club” because boys have more fun. Most protective older brothers would have discouraged such a thing. But Robert saw opportunity and began training them.
Robert Bittlesworth has worked tirelessly in the Home Office for years, managing intelligence in the war against Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna. He also executed a plan to have his father exiled. Now that plan backfires when one of his father’s cronies kidnaps the Haberdashers… and the first woman he has ever truly cared about.
Imogen Grant of Boston has traveled the world with her mother’s shipping company. She considers herself an exceptional judge of character, but she has never met anyone like Robert Bittlesworth. He is either the very best or the very worst man of her acquaintance. Can she decide which before she loses her heart?