Reviewed by JenI've been looking forward to this book ever since Jack was first introduced in The Taming of the Rake. He's the dark one among the three Blackstone bastards. He's mysterious and broody and I couldn't wait to learn his secrets and watch him surrender to love. Sadly, the book did not live up to my expectations. Let me give you a little info on the story.
Jack works for the crown, doing super-secret government missions. His latest assignment is to track down his missing mentor. That means he must confront the man's daughter, Tess, who was once his great love. Four years ago, he was involved in a plot with her dad that ended with the death of her twin brother. She was never able to forgive him. It turns out, though, that her father is the real villain. While he pretended to work for the crown, he was more interested in his secret job as an antiquities thief. And he never cared about his children as much as his stolen treasures.
Once Jack fills Tess in on her father's true nature, they must work together to track the man down. But time after time, they realize that they are dancing to her father's tune. You see, Daddy is uber-brilliant, and is always several steps ahead. He is hoping to draw out Jack to help him foil his other protege, the Gypsy. And he's willing to fight dirty to get what he wants.
We get the details on Tess and Jack's initial love story as the couple looks back on what went wrong. That was kind of disappointing, because we miss out on all the delicious new love/ attraction build-up. The couple starts the book with all this history behind them and they're already mired in angst. Of course, the mission puts them on the road to reconciliation. It's not a bad romance, but it wasn't great either.
There were two major things I didn't like about the book. One was puppetmaster quality of Tess' father. It's hard to swallow that the man is so dastardly brilliant that he has master plans that span years and pulls everyone's strings. It was too much. (Plus, I found the resolution to his part of the storyline to be very anticlimactic.)
My other issue was the pacing. The book wasn't terribly long, but it felt like it was. Perhaps it's because there was so much more story even after the plot surrounding Tess' dad was put to bed. Maybe because I found the backstory on Jack's parents to be so terribly convoluted and unbelievable. Or maybe it was that it all ended in a way that was much too convenient. I'm not sure. I just know that it felt like it went on and on and left me disappointed. 3 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
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Much Ado About Roguesby Kasey MichaelsRelease Date: March 20, 2012Publisher: Harlequin