It’s been a long time since I read a proper gothic historical romance novel. There, I have managed to fit 3 genres into one sentence! But honestly, this is a book that ticks all the 3 boxes above.
This is also the first time I am reading anything by Catherine Coulter. My first impression – not impressed by the writing or plotting at all.
In this story, Andrea (who prefers to be called Andy) marries a man old enough to be her father purely for protection
and companionship – sex is most definitely not a part of the package because she is extremely traumatized by her father’s womanizing ways that destroyed her family and her faith in men. Yes, that’s the kind of ninny she is.
When she goes to her bridal home, she realizes she is surrounded by danger from all sides, and she needs to figure out the mystery and save herself from the numerous (rather pathetic, since they all fail) attempts on her life. There is also a handsome man, her husband’s nephew and heir who provides the romance in this novel.
This novel fell rather flat for me. Primarily, because the romance was so blink and you miss. And while the mystery is passable, I just knew that the story could end only one way if she needs to get together with the hero.
The main character Andy falls really flat. She is supposed to be smart, wordly (when compared with other girls her age), and witty. However, for someone who is supposedly very smart and brave, she does some really stupid things. For example, she really does not question why her husband would agree to a sexless marriage with her…that should really ring a lot of alarm bells for a girl who does not trust a man’s word at all. Why on earth did she trust her husband to stick to this bargain?
The hero John is also a cardboard cut-out and as interesting as his name – John. Add to that, an extremely annoying dog, and that sealed this book’s fate with me.
In short, if you like gothic, try Victoria Holt. Her worst books are still better than this one.