Comment: Following my attempt to read some loose titles I have in my shelves, this is the last book by this author I have. The first one in the trilogy was a birthday gift and I enjoyed the story enough to keep going.
This one is the third and last.
Miriel is the younger of three sisters. She is known for her quiet personality and for her delicate manners. She's the sister that takes care of the castle and everything in it because her older sisters were always more interested in fighting. However, Miriel isn't without secrets. She and her Chinese maid, Sung Li, have developed in secret the scheme of robbing the money from rich nobles to give to the poor and they did that by creating an outlaw, the Shadow. Since she was a young girl, Miriel has been trained by Sung Li in the Chinese fighting arts and she can do things her sisters have no idea, and with her softer side being the one she shows in public, she is safe from being discovered as the Shadow.
The problem is, as time goes by, the Shadow has become known and although the people salute him by his actions, the noblemen want him arrested. A group of men hire Rand la Nuit, a mercenary, to find and stop the Shadow by arresting him.
Rand knows the Shadow acts around Rivenloch, Miriel's castle, and so goes there to investigate and uses the idea of courting Miriel to hide the real reasons for his presence there. Rand is a mercenary but he's tired of his life and while pretending to court Miriel, he realizes maybe he could do it for real and be a respected man in the castle and also marrying the woman he starts to fall in love with.
I liked the book, it's something you read pretty fast. The plot is rather predictable, but I already expected that before reading. the fun part is actually the situations both Miriel and Rand get themselves into while playing hide and seek. I think some scenes were very amusing and gave the book a certain light feeling, like historicals don't need to be very serious, even medieval ones.
The romance wasn't that amazing, although it was fun to see them fall in love despite thinking they wouldn't and how they reacted because of jealousy. I liked how they thought things were wrong and how emotional they become when they thought their relationship was doomed but even better was to see them accepting the other and admitting their feelings.
In terms of plot + romance + writing, I can't say this was the best book I've read, but it's a simple story, easily read and it offers a solid HEA and entertains. It's a book to relax and perhaps read between more serious things but it doesn't leave a mark in the reader, at least I didn't end up wondering about it or about what would happen...it's just a readable book.The writing was fine, easy to follow. The author's style is the usual for this type of books, and I didn't think it diminished the book's value. It's just that, the book is very bland. Still, a relatively enjoyable read.