An agent for the Ministry, Simon St. James exploited Emily’s deception to suit his mission. He was searching for a traitor smuggling arms to Napoleon’s army. He found an auburn haired virago who could heal his wounded soul. Trapped in the web of his own deception, he would fight the devil himself for the chance of winning his lady.
Comment: This is one of those poor lost books in the bottom of lists kind of books. It means it has been kept alone for a long time since arriving at the pile but usually there are two reasons for that: a) you got it for some weird reason (some cheap or free deal) and now no longer feels interesting or b) you are leaving for the perfect time and don't want to go through the pain of reading it and that is it.
To be really honest, this is more alike the first reason....
This is the story of Emily Maitland, a young woman who decides, along with her grandmother, to invent a fake husband so her sisters can enter society and, eventually, marry themselves. This because their parents thought of only allowing Emily's sister into society if Emily married first.
All seem well when, during a party, Emily's fake husband appears and Emily can do nothing but go along with his plans.
Why this stranger showed up using her lie, she doesn't know, but she believes him to be scoundrel of the worst kind...too bad she likes him and wants to be close to him...
This is my second story by the author and unlike the first one, this didn't have many positive qualities in my perspective, which made it seem weaker to me.
I mean, the story isn't all that bad but the way the plot moves along and the absolutely silly situations the heroine gets into and her often childish behavior put me off a lot. It took me some days to go through this book but it was a struggle, especially at the beginning.
The writing style isn't very appealing to me. It offers the right information but it's not properly done, for instance, when we get why Emily's husband is posing as such the information is important for us to know but why he had to use that particular disguise is silly, there were so many other ways he could have tried to find the information he wanted... There seems to exist a very small amount of logic in some aspects and even in terms of character development, I felt things weren't well thought.
Major Sheridan, however, has some interesting personality details, things to endear him to the reader, his motives, expectations, past experiences...he tries to the best out of a sticky situation, he obviously plays a part in order to find of someone in Emily's family and father's business is smuggling...and forgetting about the idea of pretending to be married to her - which is silly - his actions seem to have a reason, a line of continuity...I liked several scenes with him, some emotional details, but the execution only made him look unprofessional and a cliché.
Emily, however, is the real element in the book that got on my nerves. She is a young woman but her attitudes and behavior seem those of a bratty teenager. I suppose this is meant to make her look feisty and impetuous, somewhat wild too, for us readers. But for me, she only looked ridiculous. The way she dealt with the masquerade of Sheridan, how she imagined she could get rid of him by sending him in a ship somewhere, how things go wrong and he then pretends to be amnesic... and in the middle of all this she is supposed to, convincingly, be falling in love with him...I mean, no. I don't think anyone would consider her mature enough to be sane, much less a good wife or companion.
This is meant to be a romance, so I get the path the author takes us on, but I feel the plot is very lacking in structure and reasonable development to make it something I enjoyed reading.
But between the irritating heroine and the several situations they both get into (maybe the shooting the husband on the head but not causing him harm can be one of the most challenging), I just think the author invented too much, too many things had to be secret from some characters to others and when we got to the real villain's identity, the solution was as stupid as the reason it had to exist in the first place.
The HEA is sweet, and sure, that is great, but I won't miss this book and after two less than stellar attempts, I think this is it between me and this author. I won't say never again, but so far, I think I might be done. Too many loose points and unnecessary situations to be dealt with. Too much and not well explained or presented.