An historical M/F where the woman isn't a meek little mouse and the man isn't an alphabrute and they're both sophisticated and evenly matched? What is this magic??? There was a point at around 80% where I thought the author was going into Big Misunderstanding territory to drum up (even more) drama, but like every other instance of "tired trope" that nearly came before that, Ms. Milan managed to sidestep it and let her adult characters be adults. Amazing, isn't it?
I really enjoyed Minnie's and Robert's interactions. They start out rivals, since he's spreading around seditious flyers that she's blamed for distributing, and they're each determined to keep their secrets. Robert, being a duke, isn't really in danger if his secret is let out, but Minnie's secrets and fears run deep and could really do serious damage to her.
Robert's maybe a little too perfect at times. Sure, he fumbles in his flirtations and machinations because he's a clueless duke for all that he's considered "woke" for his time period. He has no practical understanding or application of what it means to be working class or anything less than what he is. He may be progressive, but he can only see things through the eyes and privilege of a duke. I'd also expect a guy with his background to have at least a few hangups that manifest themselves negatively - he really should be the jealous type but he isn't, for instance - but I'm willing to overlook that since it worked thematically for the characters and their different but complementary issues and strengths. And I didn't have to put up with an alphabrute, which is always a win.
I especially liked that there wasn't any insta-love. They like each other. They really, really like each other. But they don't confuse that with love and they have to work towards that like any other couple.
The supporting characters were all fully fleshed out, and there's even a subplot with Robert's mother that's quite well done. Lydia's a great bestie, and I'm going to assume she ends up with one of the Brother Sinisters - who are actually comprised of Robert, his half-brother and a cousin. Sebastian was an unholy terror and hilarious, and Oliver was as sweet as can be.
I'm eager to read the rest of the series, and thankfully my library has them all. Yay! If they're as well-written as this one, they'll be fun and interesting reads.
This was fun! I've been slowly but surely trying to get around to all the old classics I avoided when I was a kid. I saw a couple of the Musketeer movies, neither of them very good, and I recently saw a few episodes of the Musketeer show on Hulu, but I never read the book, and after the enjoyable but somewhat rambling The Count of Monte Cristo, I wasn't sure what to expect from this book.
It's still enjoyable and still somewhat rambling, lol. The book lost some momentum after the race for the diamond studs and doesn't really recover, pace-wise, until the introduction of Milady, who gives whole new meaning to the word diabolical. This was often silly, and often fast-paced. I can see how this was originally published as a serial, and I can just imagine the people reading this in real time impatiently waiting for the next installment. The three Musketeers are great friends and have varied backgrounds and personalities, and they adopt d'Artagnan into their group despite some awkward and hostile beginnings. I adored their friendships and how they looked out for each other - which is why it felt so disjointed that d'Artagnan then had to wait to be told to go look for his friends who may or may not have given up their lives to he could go fetch the queen's diamond studs. Like, bro, WTF?
Simon Vance knocked this out of the park and his impression especially of Porthos was a hoot and a half. I think my love for Porthos is about 110% due to Vance's reading of his lines. So over the top. So adorably obtuse. Planchet was pretty adorable too. Though as great as Vance was, these are the most British-sounding French dudes ever. :D I guess French narrators just refuse to read this in English? After a lifetime of hearing British accents for French characters, it didn't bother me at all, just added to the fun.
I've been meaning to start this series since I've enjoyed her "Bigtime" series. Nice shout out to Karma Girl BTW. If there was a shout out for her "Elemental Assassin" series- I missed it since I haven't started that one yet.
Gwen is a gypsy and she has the gift of psychometry. She can touch anything and get the history of the object, or feelings if a person. I found I was annoyed with Gwen for part of the book because of her disbelief of mythology (it's not real!). Come on, she has a gift, her mom, and grandmother too, so her whole attitude was aggravating. I thought she was judgmental, dismissive; however, by the end she was much less so. She learned, which was a plus.
I was a little disappointed in the shallowness of all the teenagers. Especially the girls. I am glad that Daphne was more than she seemed and made the first move towards friendship with Gwen. Morgan was called a slut so many times I didn't appreciate that (and the guys that slept with her? Meh.). On the flip side, Logan, was referred to a "man whore" a few times.
Not sure how I feel about (I'm assuming) the future love interest. On the plus side, it's a slow burn. On the negative side, he is openly dating (and I assume sleeping) with other people. Not. Crazy. About. That. I think Gwen deserves better.
Nice twist with the murder mystery, Jasmine, Nike, Vic, etc.
Oh and did you know Gwen's mom is Grace and she is a Gypsy?
YA square for Ripped Bodice Bingo (and that gives me a blackout!).