Books are my escape...I need it. My life is super busy between working full time, being a mom of 2 super social kids, a traveling husband, and an annoying habit of not being able to say "No".
Well...it ended. Really? Not positive, but thought so. Kept looking for an epilogue? Maybe my review copy dropped it somehow?
The story of Ivor Chalfont and Ariadne Daunt is an interesting one given that their families are rivals but through an old agreement, the Chalfont's agree to hand over their young son, Ivor, so he can be betrothed to Ariadne and unite their families and regain their standing with the King who banished them, I guess, to the West Country where the Daunt's have been existing by smuggling and exhorting riches from others. Many questions occur with this premise - why are the families using their kids and waiting 20 years to do this? Doesn't this seem like a thin plan given the families haven't exactly been upstanding citizens? This would have been nice to know, but no detail given.
The book mainly revolves around the conflict between Ivor and Ariadne who have grown up together as best friends with this knowledge that they are to be married someday, although Ariadne seems to have had memory loss on this point. She falls in love with a boy who doesn't live in the valley, in other words, not of their kind, and feels she can never love another. However, she is forced to marry Ivor (hence the title) and start on the quest that takes them to the King's court in London. We navigate through the rough patches that Ivor and Ariadne face regarding the consummation of their marriage and sexual frustration while Gabriel plans to be in London to get Ariadne back.
The attraction between Ariadne and Ivor is a good one and I was rooting for Ivor to hang in there and be patient with Ariadne, that she'll come around. The sex scenes were only a long paragraph, where I prefer a bit more lead up to, during, and after description, or at least several scenes which there were a few.
It is when they are in London, that things start to come together regarding the love triangle between Ivor, Ariadne and Gabriel, in addition to Ivor and Ariadne beginning their family mission and make inroads in achieving their goal of getting invited to court. Yet, the only conclusion given is the resolution of the love triangle and happily ever after for Ivor and Ariadne. It is glaringly obvious that there is more to know regarding the family mission, yet there is no mention of it at all. I was shocked to find that my book ended - 100% done really?
I guess I will never know if they were successful in their mission, if their families' standing was restored, or if they had children. It seems odd to have a sequel as the ending here wasn't set up that way and an epilogue chapter would probably do. It's too bad it had to end hanging like that, as I have to give it 2 stars and while not quite a 4 star book, I would have given it a fair, in the middle, rating.
Digital Review Copy provided by Netgalley.