Friday, January 27, 2017

His Wicked Reputation/Madeline Hunter/432 pgs

This is the first book in a trilogy. Gareth is the bastard son of a duke who's made a fairly good life for himself both in business and in pleasure. He returns to England from Europe upon news of his oldest legitimate brother's death. He and the oldest brother did not get along but once he arrives back it's clear that he has a much closer relationship with his other two half-brothers. One of the brothers enlists Gareth to help track down some missing paintings.

With no other family but a younger sister, Eva has had to make her own way for years. She's an artist who is currently "borrowing" paintings from the attic of one of the ducal properties, copying them, and then selling the copies through a middleman.

I really liked both characters in this story--Eva was a level-headed heroine and Gareth was a down-to-earth hero but I don't think they spent nearly enough time together. They seemed to be heading in opposite directions much of the time. The subplot of the missing paintings did not intrigue me at all, mostly because their being found would have no impact on the main couple. In fact, the paintings were not even found by the end of the book and I suspect this subplot will play into the other two books in the trilogy. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure I've already figured what happened to the paintings, not that I really care.

So, great characters, wonderful writing (Hunter never fails there), too much subplot, too little romance. I'm unsure if I'll read the other two books in the series.

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