False Marriage Thwarted by Kidnapping
Lady Olivia, the heroine, met Anteros–a sea captain and gentleman’s club owner–at a ball a year-and-a-half before the book starts. We don’t get to see much of this backstory except in the prologue and snippets of recalled memories, but apparently, Anteros has been a good friend to Olivia and her family. Lady Olivia has also gotten to know his sister, Adrestia. For all that has transpired in their past, Anteros believes that Lady Olivia owes him a favor. So when his father demands he marry–even though Anteros has no desire to–he asks Lady Olivia to perform false vows with him to appease his father. His father accepts this compromise. Lady Olivia is later kidnapped.
Is Anteros’s father genuinely willing to accept an English noblewoman, not his chosen Austrian archduchess, for his son’s bride? Will Anteros risk to pursue and rescue lady Olivia? When will he tell her that he is actually an Italian prince whose family has been deposed by Napoleon? Will they speak false vows of marriage? Will they fall in love?
As I have often felt in this series, the book is missing something by not fully including the couple’s backstory. We are just told they have this complex past relationship with only brief moments of that history shown. I would like to understand that the dynamics between Olivia and Anteros better, and that can only be done by showing the scenes where their relationship evolved. The author prefers to write the series as novellas rather than novels, but to me, the complex character dynamics and plot shifts require longer telling to be fully satisfying for the reader.
In this series, the author creates some fascinating secondary characters. Like in this story, Anteros ’s sister, Adrestia would make a fantastic heroine. I would encourage the author to both write some of the romances for these interesting secondary characters and consider making them longer so we can understand the couple’s backstory instead of just being thrown in at a much later time in their relationship.
The book had some of the common issues of grammar, punctuation, and usage, but this did not distract from the story. She did misspell the hero’s dynasty, Bourbon, as Bourdon twice.
If you enjoy historical romances with a little bit of adventure on the high seas, you might enjoy this story.