Hannah March, The Complaint of the Dove
Robert Fairfax is a tutor tasked with introducing his pupil, 19-year-old Matthew Hemsley, to the sights and experiences of London. They go to the theater, where Matt immediately becomes infatuated with popular actress Lucy Dove. When Lucy is later stabbed to death, Matt is arrested for the murder. But Fairfax is convinced Matt is innocent and decides to find the real killer before Matt is hanged. I really enjoyed this well-written mystery, especially its unique 1760 setting. The book brings the era to life without sounding like a research dump. I also found Fairfax a likable and interesting sleuth, and I’m looking forward to continuing with the series! This author also writes historical fiction under the name Jude Morgan, and I like those books as well.
Jen DeLuca, Well Traveled
Louisa “Lulu” Malone is a corporate attorney, but she’s been feeling burned out and dissatisfied with her life. After one too many “urgent” texts on a Saturday, she impulsively quits her job and decides to travel the Renaissance Faire circuit with her friend Stacey and a band called The Dueling Kilts. Lulu embraces her new life but views it as temporary and isn’t sure what comes next. She also finds herself falling for Dex MacLean, guitarist of the Dueling Kilts and notorious ladies’ man. She doesn’t trust his flirtatious behavior, but as she gets to know him better, she discovers there’s more to him than meets the eye. This book was fine but honestly a bit meh. I always enjoy the Ren Faire setting of these books, but Lulu’s conflict felt a bit too paint-by-numbers, if that makes sense. Dex was also a pretty flat character; the romance really took second place to Lulu’s own character development. It’s not a bad read by any means, but not one I’d particularly recommend either.
Anne Gracie, The Autumn Bride
This series opener introduces the “Chance sisters,” four young women whose poverty and orphaned state have left them extremely vulnerable. A chance meeting with an elderly widow, Lady Beatrice Davenham, changes their fortunes: she agrees to take in the four girls and claim them as her nieces. Of course, Lady Beatrice’s actual nephew, Max, knows the girl are impostors, and he’s determined to figure out what they’re hiding. But as a romance grows between him and the eldest sister, Abby, he also learns that all four girls are in grave danger. I’ve actually already read The Winter Bride, book #2 in this series, and loved it, so I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed this one as well! The setup is of course ridiculous, but Max and Abby are both delightful (albeit not particularly unique) characters, and I loved snarky Aunt Bea as well. I could have done without the suspense plot, but overall I really liked this one and am thrilled to have discovered Anne Gracie!
2 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews: Complaint, Traveled, Autumn”
I enjoyed your mini reviews. I liked Well Met a bit better, but that’s the way it goes! 🙂
Well Met is still my favorite of the series; for me, it has the most satisfying romance. I felt Well Traveled was much more about Lulu’s personal journey, which is fine, just not what I was looking for.