Genre fiction lover: Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
I have no idea what made me look this book up, much less buy it. But I am so glad I did.
Let me first say I had never heard of this author prior to reading this book. But something about this (and it's sequel which I read immediately after) intrigued me.
The writing made me feel like I was reading Heyer. Maybe if Heyer had been writing closer in spirit to authors of the 80s, but still Heyer-esque nonetheless.
The heroine, Rosalind, in this book is blind. As the book starts the reader is witness to the incident that caused her blindness. Later as we meet her again we find that she's well loved by her brother, but it is an over protective smothering love that leaves her somewhat lonely and well aware that although she is beloved, she has been given no opportunity to live a normal life. She lives in a lovely home in the country with an army of devoted servants and every wish she could have granted...except for the possibility of love, marriage and family.
Into her life comes Amberley, the hero. A broken axle, a snowstorm and he must take refuge at her home. Amberley is a great character. He is handsome, well dressed, witty and clever. He has a great sense of ridiculous. I liked that he wasn't some dour brooding hero but rather a guy who didn't take things too seriously and had a good sense of humor. But he was still very deep.
The scenes of Amberley and Rosalind getting to know each other during their snowy ideal were fantastic. I also loved all the below stairs machinations of the servants as they observed their mistress and her mysterious guest. Amberley read the situation with Rosalind perfectly and later acts a huge catalyst of change for her.
As I was reading this book I had one of those reactions that I don't get all that often anymore, the sense of really, really sinking into and just basking in the enjoyment of a well told story.
The thing that takes it over the top is the bird. Rosalind has a foul mouthed parrot. For two glorious paragraphs the parrot gets a POV. I loved that. And he plays another important part in the story later.
Beside the central romance, which was so well developed, I liked all the side characters and different relationships they all had with each other. There were some stands out such as the Duke of Rockliffe aka Rock (this made me giggle). I also loved how the author described the moment Amberley realized he was in love with Rosalind and later what he felt when he had no chance with her. Such good writing.After reading this I immediately picked up the sequel and some of her more hist-fiction books. Have been enjoying them all.