...no idea what the title is all about.
A really interesting book although not for everyone. Because it features a political intrigue sub-plot. From a really boring period of history. Of another country even. Very well written. Or the book could be viewed as a mild 'Bourne' wannabe seeing how the hero is misinformed as to the true nature of his mission by his superiors and has to figure out the truth for himself. Mind you he was a bit thick about the horticultural letters that Crane was writing. The romance was so good there seemed to be too little of it. Fortunately the two threads in the book dove-tailed nicely towards the end of the story. Although I did struggle as to who was who in the resolution chapter which tbh features the generally reviled deux ex machina plot device...something which, like magic vaginas, I personally have no problem with. (Listen, if adults can go for Potter magic wands in their millions why quibble about shoe-horned HEAs?) Again only sporadic hotness. I could care less about Brandon, Angelique and Ian.
The trouble was both the hero and heroine were on the wrong side. I looked up 'Cato Street' on Wiki. As far as I could tell the conspiracy had its roots in ordinary people protesting about protectionism and political corruption. As is hinted in the story, significant numbers were starving. So why was Harry on the side of the establishment? How could he possibly accept Doncaster's offer of a 'pocket borough' when that is exactly the sort of thing people were protesting about?
Anyway I really enjoyed the portrayal of the heroine Mariah. She falls in love for the first time and lets nothing come between her and her chosen one. I liked how she saw through Harry's disguise as old Lord Wroth. Some great 'stolen moment' kissing. I'm so used to heroines in other novels regretting their first romance and moving onto a series of new guys that I really appreciated this portrayal of a young woman's trust and loyalty to her first love. Plus. There is a touch of realism in that I believe Mariah behaves exactly like a young heiress...not bothered who she hook's up with knowing parental money will sort everything out nicely. I think she'll make a great politician's wife. Harry however is bound to become disillusioned with the political process within 5 years imo.
Terrible cover again. The heroine has too modern a profile and looks to be about 10 years older than the hero. Who seems to have an unfortunate problem with his right eyelid.
I keep re-reading the 'good' chapters....ie all the scenes where Harry and Mariah meet and talk. And then all the chapters where the plot climbs to its climax! (Amazingly) Yes. The book has flaws (but who wants a perfect story); for instance, Harry loves Mariah because she's so very beautiful and I'm not sure Mariah would appreciate that. And yes. Harry is ambitious. But it also has excitement (the bomb under the carriage). I love a book where bits of it stick in my mind.
...I've got a little confused...suddenly I've read 2 good historicals in a row...I just hope my high standards (or my hormones) aren't slipping.