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    Charming historical - just didn't believe in Quinn

    Quinn Wentworth is in Newgate prison, sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. A wealthy banker, he grew up in the slums of York the son of a violent drunk. When the daughter of a prison preacher is sent to wait in Quinn's quarters they strike up a conversation which leads to Quinn offering to marry her, and leave her a generous allowance after his death, in order to provide for her and her unborn child from a brief marriage which ended in her husband's death. But Quinn is, unbeknownst to him, the heir to the Dukedom of Walden rescued from the noose he must now enter London society with a new wife and uncover the identity of the enemy who put him in prison. I am a great fan of Grace Burrowes' writing, I find her attention to detail fascinating and I admire that she takes the time to research the places that she writes about. Her characters are intriguing and her plots are carefully woven. Yet while I did enjoy this book, I didn't love it and I think there are two things which contributed to that. First, I didn't buy into Quinn at all. This is a man who worked any job, no matter how dirty or disgusting, to earn coins to support his brother and sisters. A man born into the slums of York, who has worked day and night to earn coin, someone who didn't learn to read and write until he was almost a man. Yet he has also taken the time to take elocution lessons to lose his Yorkshire accent and dresses as finely as any lord whilst in prison. There are hints early in the book that he has also done some bully-boy work, although later that seems to be refuted, but overall he seems too charming and sophisticated for his rough start in life. Second, I felt that the plot was a bit choppy, almost as though it was originally going in one direction and then changed tack part way through. Quinn has a deep, dark secret which he is afraid to tell his wife in case she looks on him differently, but, unless my lack of sleep has led me to miss the great reveal, I didn't think it much of a secret, or even something to be terribly ashamed of. As with many books like this the deep secret is alluded to time and again in connection with the unnamed person who plotted to get Quinn hanged, but then there is a scene with the people intimately connected with that secret which sort of makes the secret a whole lot less secret. There are side-plots that don't seem to go anywhere and seem to be intended to cast suspicion on various people but just seem more like plot ideas that didn't pan out. Yet, Quinn and Jane's romance was touching and realistic. A couple who enter a marriage of convenience suddenly find themselves in entirely unforeseen circumstances. Each of them must shake off the habits of the past and learn to live this new life. So this feels like a negative review but it isn't really, just me being picky. Overall this was still a charming, intelligent, historical romance with great characters and a believable plot and I can't wait to see who is the next rogue in the series. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
7

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