I very much enjoyed the first 85% of this book. The opening chapters held the promise of a romance with a little bit of intrigue and quite a bit of fun when Kit caught the eye of Lord Wharton, a viscount who finds himself thoroughly bored by the predictability of his current social life. Working in counterpoint to this light-hearted side of the story is Haven Manor, a place where Kit and her two compatriots, Daphne and Jess, devote their lives to raising children who might have had a very different life if they hadn’t been born on the wrong side of the blanket. These two elements struck a great balance, and I found myself thoroughly enchanted by Graham as he won over the children and slowly chiselled away at Kit’s walls.
As I moved into the second half of the story, I was even more intrigued by the direction it took, throwing in some surprises and giving both Kit and Graham the opportunity to examine their situations in life and their motivation for what they were (or weren’t) doing. I can’t say too much without revealing spoilers, but it included the kind of spiritual thread that made me sit up and take notice—much as it did to Kit and Graham. I do have to say, though, that while I agreed with the spiritual wisdom Graham imparted at one particular point, it did feel a little odd coming out of his mouth. I’m not sure whether it was because it felt a little too modern for the setting or whether it was because it required a deeper spiritual understanding than Graham had shown to that point; maybe a bit of both. But I’ll move on.
The disappointment for me was the ending. It felt rushed, but I also felt Graham was extremely high-handed in the steps that he took to resolve things. His genuine enthusiasm and belief that he was doing the best thing for all concerned tempered my annoyance a little bit, but I couldn’t help feeling indignant on Kit’s behalf. Especially since she didn’t seem indignant at all. I’m pretty sure I would have been if I had been in Kit’s place. And for such a promising beginning to the romance, I felt it fizzled at the end. I enjoyed their relationship more in the middle of the story (and that super sweet first kiss) than I did their relationship at the end.
Finally, 1% of my disappointment is reserved for the Southernisms that crept in, such as using ‘drug’ as the past tense of ‘drag’ and the phrase, “they’re going to try to figure out who all you have contracts with.” I try not to be too critical of Americanisms that creep into English-set novels, but Southernisms tax my tolerance a little too much, not to mention they yank me out of the story (no pun or bipartisanship intended)!
But as I say, I did enjoy the majority of the book, and in light of the developments that took place, I’m keen to see where the next story takes me.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.