Slow-burn romance and chilling mystery are described in the cover blurb, and it couldn’t be more accurate. Both aspects of this novel are a joy to read, to the point where I’d have been fine it either halves were the sole focus of the novel. Together, things are made all the more intricate and interesting.
So many romances set in this location and time period involved the nobility that genuine connections between characters not as high class are especially intriguing to me. However, the plots and drama of the noble class are still delightfully intrusive in this tale, and Clem’s relationship to the family makes his involvement all the more interesting. Rowley getting dragged into the fray heightens the conflict without sacrificing the romance.
Charles is great at portraying “nontraditional” characters in her period romances, and Clem and Rowley are no exception. As someone quite attached to her glasses myself, Rowley’s visual impairment brought him more to life for me. I also applaud Charles’ characterization of Clem in creating a character on the autism spectrum who is still an adult, sexual being with his own friends and desires.
Clem and Rowley’s part of this trilogy’s over-arching plot are resolved to my satisfaction, but be prepared to immediately want to jump into the next book!