Lady Kate Crowmore is finally free of her monstrous husband, but the ton that expects her to mourn the bastard, has also turned her back on her, since she was found in her lover's bed the night she got the news of Crowmore's death. So Kate has come to Blackhaven to lick her wounds and to forget about the scandal...Yet the townsfolk also cut her. Except the mysterious curate, Tristram Grant.
Grant knows there's more to the wicked lady that meets the eye, but he'll need all his cunning and perseverance to get under Kate's protective armor. He just hopes, he's in time, before someone kills her.
This story was love-at-first-sight on steroid. They only met and he already said he wanted to marry her. Sheesh. Needless to say, I wasn't convinced about the romance. I wasn't really convinced about the main protagonists, in fact. I found facade of wicked lady a little too abrasive at times (I know she had her reasons not to let anyone close, but still), and he came across as too much of a doormat sometimes. In the end, I felt they worked better as friends and confidantes than love interests.
It was really the supporting cast that saved the day. From the supposed French spy who turned out to be Tris's half-brother (I didn't really care much about the other brother, though), Kate's maid, the good doctor (some other man than in the first book) and his wife, the magistrate and his wife, the Muirs and the happy couple Wickenden (I liked the "wicked baron" better than in his own book, he sounded lighter and happier, I guess).
And then there was the suspense. A little less prominent than in the previous book, but still intriguing, even though the big mystery was revealed quite early on. Still, it kept the reader guessing just what might happen next and just how the hired hands would get about ridding the world of Kate Crowmore.
It was the "resolution" that left a big question mark on everything. Why was the suicide needed?
The romantic sub-plot also had a slightly iffy resolution with all the passing of Kate between the two brothers (figuratively speaking) and I'm still not sure just what was with all the haste. She's already made up her mind, couldn't he wait another day?
It felt like the story was all over the place, really, with various plot elements not really connecting fully, creating a rather disjointed reading experience. It would've helped a little if the romance was solid.
The book transcends from autobiography to a novel which is a striking. Before the confusion begins to recede from your thoughts the novel surfaces and you begin to enjoy. Moh Lal Rai seems to be author personified but it could be anyone going through the experience of discovering a true love.
From an age of innocence Moh has an intense desire to change her circumstances. The traditional and patriarchal ambiance dominating her life is stifling and in order to liberate herself from clutches of the family she has to outdo. And she does she becomes a fashion designer of repute and then transcends into a love Diva.
With faith in Goddess Durga she finds the sailing smooth but there is one hitch. Finding love seems to be a daunting task after a failed marriage. Eventually she hears from Maa…an announcement that promises to augur a change in her life. She was to meet her true love in India, the premonition is in shape of an announcement from Maa Durga at Las Vegas fashion show.
The romantic interlude begins whence she meets her true lover Gaurang in Chennai in
India. The roller coaster ride is an esoteric assemblage of myths and religion that is part of their romance. The book is not about holding hand romance or a fantasy land love story. The narration is more about a relationship which develops between the true lovers and the effect of surrounding potpourri of characters that color the book throughout.
A Passionate Gospel of True Love is a new kind of love story based in India and readers must go through this exciting tale.
Reviewed for Wit and Sin
Tara Sheets has the magic touch when it comes to sweet, utterly charming romances. I adored her first Holloway Girls book, Don’t Call Me Cupcake, and was pleased to find the enchantment didn’t wear off with Don’t Touch My Petunia.
Juliette has a magical connection to plants that someone with a black thumb like me envies. She’s vibrant and endearing, but she also had a vulnerable side that tugged on my heartstrings. Aside from her cousin Emma, everyone she has ever loved has left Juliette so she guards her heart fiercely. She relies on no one but herself, has walls a mile high, and is wary of change. Only someone like Logan could manage to scale those walls around her heart. Logan is the perfect hero without coming off as cardboard. He’s patient, kind, quiet, strong, and though he doesn’t take any flak from Juliette, he doesn’t scare easily when she resists change or her self-preservation instincts kick in and she tries to push him away. They have great chemistry that shows from the start as they banter and bicker, then slide into love. Their romance made me sigh more than once and there are so many sweet moments I don’t want to spoil by revealing. I really enjoyed watching them heal from the ghosts of their pasts with each other’s help and I liked them together so much that I hated having to put the book down.
A cast of lively secondary characters round out the book but never take the focus off of Juliette and Logan. I love the world of Pine Cove Island, the charm of the shops and the welcoming residents who each have their own fun quirks. I’m so glad Ms. Sheets will keep the magic going and give new Pine Cove Island resident Kat her own book because I don’t want to leave this place behind. If you enjoy sweet romances with a touch of magic, you’re sure to delight in reading Don’t Touch My Petunia.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.