I have read several books by Catherine Coulter and have enjoyed them in the past so I wasn’t really concerned about buying this book – in hardback no less. I like historical romances and when there’s a mystery element to the story I usually like them even more. That was NOT the case with this book.
Good things about this book included:
* It’s set in the thirteenth century so the dialogue was a little different but realistic and easy to read.
* The sexual tension was good and the “love story” built nicely.
* I liked the main characters well enough.
Unfortunately, the list of bad things greatly outweighs the good:
* The story jumps back and forth between two stories. It was not done very well and you get involved in one and then it rips you into the other. It stays on one story for a chapter or two and then you may bounce back to the other story for a paragraph or two and then you bounce back. The stories don’t even switch at chapters – right in the middle it could switch and then switch back again, right in the middle.
* There is no lead up to the second story line. It is just thrown at you out of the blue. I was reading along and then I didn’t know what the heck I was reading. I even checked to see if I had picked up the wrong book somehow.
* Throughout the book, the hero says things like “By St. Stephen’s crooked knuckles…”, “By St. George’s rancid breath…”, “By St. Williams’ wobbly knees…”. Not only is this bad just once but he says this no less than 2 dozen times (if not more) through out the book. It made me want to smack him! I didn’t know there were so many Saints with so many atrocious maladies but I certainly got tired of hearing about them.
* You never get a firm sense of how the “parallel story” even has anything to do with the “main story” until the very end of the book and by that time I was so pissed off at having my story continually interrupted by it, I just wanted to finish the book.
* The “second story” is not altogether that important to the main story. The main story would have been better with more detail and plot definition without even including the “second story”.
Overall, I’d say this book was mediocre at best and has the distinction of being the worst book I’ve read in about three years. I won’t re-read it and I’m a little perturbed that I spent time actually reading it in the first place with all the other books in my TBR pile. However, I will continue to read Catherine Coulter books as this was the only one that has truly disappointed me.