This should be a character driven story and in part it is. James (Beau Crusoe) is a wonderful fully developed character, the secondary characters are interesting and quirky (love the tailor and the foppish Sir Percieval) but the heroine, Susannah is never fully developed. As I write this I think maybe she is fully developed but not a character that I actually like. Passive, maybe even a little passive/aggressive, would be a good description for her. She's the beautiful, good daughter until she runs away with her father's secretary, comes back after his death. Her family is already shunned by society she allows herself to be shunned within her parent's own household and her child to be treated abominably by her not so nice or pretty sister.
From the Publisher:
Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe--a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival!
Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence--until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up her peace! The beautiful widow wanted to help him heal the wounds of the past--but what secrets was this glorious man hiding?
Can you tell I don't like Susannah? But I love James. He saves the book from being a complete failure. He's funny, smart, strong and has enough issues hanging over his head to be less than perfect and very interesting.
I read the book with a certain level of detachment, and never felt fully engaged. I'm vascillating between B-/C+ (leaning toward C+) simply because Ms. Kelly's a good writer.
I might come back and add more to this--the time change has messed me up and I need to get to Mass. Have a good one and happy reading.