By: Juliana Gray
Published Year: 2016
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This book was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): As the personal secretary of the recently departed Duke of Olympia—and a woman of good character—Miss Emmeline Rose Truelove never expected to be steaming through the Mediterranean on a luxuriously appointed yacht under the watchful and jovial eye of one Lord Silverton. But here they are, as improper as it is, on a quest to find the duke’s heir, whereabouts unknown.
An expert on anachronisms, the adventurous Maximilian Haywood was last seen at an archaeological dig on the island of Crete. And when Truelove and Silverton disembark, they are met with incidents of a violent nature: a ransacked flat, a murdered government employee, an assassination attempt. And as they steam from port to port on Max’s trail, dodging danger at every turn, Truelove will discover the folly of her misconceptions—about the whims of the heart, the desires of men, and the nature of time itself..
I’m a little torn on the cover. It is eye catching because of the bright colors and I love that, but I also feel like it’s a bit cheesy and I might have put it back down after picking it up. The summary wasn’t immediately convincing either, but I decided to give it a shot.
What I thought
I’m a bit confused by this book. For the majority of the book it was going one way and then it changed towards the end and I don’t know how I feel about it.
After the Duke of Olympia dies, Emmaline Truelove, his personal secretary is sent on a mission to find his nephew and heir. Accompanying her is Lord Silverton, who we later find out has been on missions like this before. The nephew of the Duke of Olympia has been missing for two months and no one has heard from him, so the dowager duchess arranges the mission to find him in Athens.
Truelove is an interesting character as she is your typical lady of the 1900s with most of her attitudes, but she dabbles in being a bit of a renaissance woman. I liked that she wasn’t written as overly progressive like I feel a lot of female characters are written from the 1900s. It was refreshing to have a character from the early 1900s who seemed to act like a person from the 1900s.
The confusing part of this book is that Truelove has visions of the Queen and her father who appear in full form and talk to her. She understands that they are hallucinations and that they are just telling her what he subconscious already knows, but she has full conversations with them and they somehow know things that she doesn’t. For example, at the very beginning the Queen tells her she is going to be asked to go on a trip and she should say no because it will be dangerous. How would she know this? There is no reason that she should know that is going to happen, so how would her subconscious know?
Lord Silverton accompanies Truelove on the adventure as her protector/guide. He has been on missions similar to this before, so he is more knowledgeable about what they need to do and how to get the information they need. He also speaks Greek which is helpful. He is a bit of a rascal who often uses his wiles and good looks to get the information he wants. However, he is quite charming and enjoyable to read about. Definitely borders on being a bit annoying, but I enjoyed him overall.
My biggest issue with this book is that it seems to be a supernatural story in disguise. For the vast majority of the book it is a mystery adventure in which two people are searching for their lost companion. I enjoyed that part of the book greatly and looked forward to other adventures with Truelove and Silverton. However, towards the end there’s some time travel thrown in and people coming back from the dead and it’s just a mess. It honestly feels like the author was writing a story and then the editor said “there are a lot of books like this, we need something to make it stand out” so she threw in supernatural elements at the end. It was disappointing because it wasn’t fleshed out at all and I felt very taken aback by it. It didn’t fit and it is so completely unnecessary to the story.
By: Juliana Gray