Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lady Elinor's Wicked Adventures by Lillian Marek

The Basics:
Lady Elinor's Wicked Adventures by Lillian Marek
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Book One in the Historical Adventures series
Historical Romance
Published November 4, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

I like the publisher and enjoy the childhood friends-to-lovers trope.


Harry de Vaux, Viscount Tunbury, has loved Lady Elinor Tremaine for as long as he can remember—but is convinced that his past makes him unworthy of her. He agrees to accompany the Tremaine family to Italy to explore Etruscan ruins, even if it chips away at his resolve to stay away from the delightful woman he loves.

The intrepid Lady Elinor is caught up in the Victorian fervor for exploring distant lands. But during her travels she is thrown back into the company of an old friend, Harry de Vaux. Amid the sightseeing and treasure hunting, Elinor comes to realize that she wants far more from Harry than friendship. But when a dangerous discovery leaves them fighting for their lives, it might just be too late...

My thoughts:

Lady Elinor's Wicked Adventures was about so much more than Lady Elinor's adventures than I expected. I was a little disappointed by how broad this story goes, encompasses not only Lady Elinor and Harry's romance, but also Elinor's brother's romance with a lovely Italian woman.

Elinor and Harry's romance is sweet and surprises no one. I wanted Elinor to be a bit angrier about Harry's years-long absence in her life, but otherwise I found it all quite charming. 

I loved that the story travels from England through France and Italy and back again. There are some great details here about tourism in the period and I really enjoyed the sense of community of tourists and ex-pats versus the locals once the family was settled in Italy. 

I had a harder time getting through the bits with Rycote - Elinor's brother. The business with his lady love and the Frenchman who had his sights set on her were a significant portion of the story and not something I expected given the book blurb. I didn't care so much about Rycote and I found Lissandra pretty flat. There were plenty of times when I thought she was being disingenuous or overly dramatic and that made it particularly difficult to care about the outcome of this secondary plot.

I also felt that the "wicked adventures" portion of the title was a little misleading. There's limited intimacy in this book and I think the use of wicked in the title gave me expectations that the book did not meet. Which isn't to say that a romance without explicit or particularly creative sex scenes cannot be satisfying, but simply that I think the title didn't quite meet the book's level of heat.

Bottom line:

I really enjoyed portions of Lady Elinor's Wicked Adventures and I think there was a lot of good material here. Unfortunately I felt that the secondary story line was too unconnected to the main romance and I couldn't really bring myself to care about the outcome of it. 

3.5 stars
For fans of travel romance, historical romance

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