If I didn't have to read this book as part of a reading group two-fer challenge, I would never have finished it nor would I have gone on to read the second book in the series A Rake's Vow which was similarly underwhelming (actually it was worse) imo.
I didn't give this a full on disliked it one-star because actually the characters and some parts of the story weren't that bad. The problem is you had a fairly good story and some likeable characters that were derailed by pedestrian writing.
The writing seriously took me out of the story. There ought to be a law. A law that says the following words can't be used in a romance novel:
There ought to be a further law that limits how many adjectives can be strung together to describe something.
I think this author used the first three words, together, each time, many times to describe the main male character. It got to the point that I began to count adjectives as I was reading.
There was also a mystery subplot where the author telegraphed the villain so broadly from, like, the first chapter or so that I wondered what took them so long to figure it out?
I can't recommend.