I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoy books by Ms. Macnamara and honestly, some of her covers are to DIE for. This wasn’t my favorite cover, nor my favorite Macnamara book, but it was still a very enjoyable read.
Some of the things I like: Albemarle the gender-confused cat, Lady Epperly (and her convenient forgetting of Henrietta’s name), the little girls Alex comes back to India with, and Satya.
What I didn’t like: the obviousness of the issue with Helena (older daughter) and the (to me) seemingly forced interest of Alexander in Henrietta. I get that these two belonged together, but I just felt like the romance between them (at least initially) was rushed.
Henrietta – Life gave her lemons and she made lemon cider with them. She went from being in Society to a paid companion with seemingly little bitterness, which was quite refreshing for me. Yeah, she was mad at Alexander, but who could blame her under the circumstances? Still, she didn’t just moon around the rest of her life, she started doing something, unglorious though being a paid companion could be. She was strong in her own right, not afraid to speak her mind (or at least think incredibly rude things) when it was necessary, and not willing to sit back and allow injustice to continue in front of her (Helena situation referred to here).
Alexander – Oh dear lord…c’mon, man. I felt like he took honor to ridiculous extremes. From his perspective, every single thing he did made sense, BUT…that doesn’t excuse him for being a dim-wit when it came to handling women and their emotions because of HIS sense of honor. Still, he did what he thought was best at the time to protect those he cared about, so kudos to him.
There was a nice subplot that dealt with a beautiful jewel case Alexander brought back from India. I really enjoyed my time with Ms. Macnamara’s characters and am so glad I read this book.
One additional facet I really admired/enjoyed – while there were nobles running around, they weren’t up in your face like so many novels set in this time period. Alexander wasn’t a lord (or if he was, it certainly wasn’t emphasized), Henrietta wasn’t a lady, and there are no apologies for such.