by Jen TuranoMiss Arabella Beckett has one driving passion: to help the downtrodden women of America. Naturally, she supports the women's suffrage movement and eagerly attends rallies and lectures across the country. On her travels, she makes a simple offer of assistance to a young woman in need that goes sadly awry and lands both ladies in more trouble than they can manage. An independent sort, Arabella is loath to admit she needs help and certainly doesn't need help from an arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor.
Mr. Theodore Wilder, private investigator extraordinaire, is on a mission. A mission that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett, but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country. By the time he finally tracks down Hamilton's sister, Arabella, he is in a less than pleasant mood. When the lady turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he soon finds himself at his wit's end.
When they return home to New York, circumstances force their paths to continue to cross, but the most peculiar feelings growing between them certainly can't be love. When the trouble Arabella had accidentally stirred up seems to have followed her to New York and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they might have landed in the most peculiar circumstance of all: love.
My Review: 2/10
Oy. The first half wasn't horrible. Several times I thought to myself, "Okay, compared to her first book, her writing is getting better; she really has some potential." And then the second half happened and it was so bad that it more than made up for first half being tolerable.
I found nothing about the prostitutes, except maybe one or two of Dot's lines, to be believable- nothing in their characterization nor any other of the other characters' reception of them. And then, when Arabella announces to a bunch of people she just met that none of the prostitutes would "proposition a man in this household because they are honorable," just mere sentences after privately reflecting she'd just heard Sarah quietly speak for the second time ever, I about lost it. The poor characterization isn't even consistent!
Again, I found none of the other character's attitudes or prejudices accurate; there were none. Pretty much everyone is liberal and progressive. If they aren't, they will be shown the light and join up in record time. There is no depth, no flaws to any of them. They were so flat I could easily interchange one for any other.
There is no suspense or mystery in this book. The murder subplot is clearly explained from the very beginning, and then the author kindly reminds you who the culprits are halfway through, in case you might have forgotten that the suspects are limited and have been rather obvious.
Also, it is not normal for everyone to like you. They all loved her. Pretty much immediately. Anyone who didn't was eventually brought to reason. Which, as I said, is not normal, and what's worse, it's boring.
What was with Arabella constantly reflecting that Theodore was "...intriguing," and Theodore going back and forth between thinking she's "...approachable," or "...unapproachable?" Ugh.
And that reminds me, the dialect and the use of Christian names really threw me off.
About 60% through, I was so thoroughly bored that I started skimming. There was no mystery to how this story was going to play out and I really didn't want to ingest anymore sugary sweet exchanges.
I don't even know why anyone would bother to read the following books. The author has made it clear that Zayne ends up with Agatha and Felicia ends up with Grayson. My bet is that it will play out like the first two books: progressive woman + prejudiced man + extreme circumstances + fighting their affections for one another, and then BOOM, the pretenses drop and they're in love. But I probably will read them because, evidently I'm a glutton for punishment.