I’ve waited a full 24 hours after finishing this book to post and I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this book…but I can tell you that I felt like I was walking a thin line throughout this story line. The reason has everything to do with the Baron himself. Giles Goddard is introduced in the Secrets of a Viscount and admittedly, I was intrigued by the dark stranger of few words; faithful friend to Sebastian Gentry. Perhaps I had forgotten or maybe the idea was just introduced in this installment, but I come to find out that Giles is considered “incompetent” due to a birth injury involving his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Supposedly, this left him unable to articulate his thoughts. Now this hits pretty close to home. All three of my children had their cords around their necks, but my youngest was born blue and lifeless due to her cord being so tight around her neck – so tight, in fact, that it had to be cut off of her. I worried about her health so incessantly, I gave myself debilitating migraines. I still wonder how her birth may have affected her ability to learn or her behavior. This was one reason that this book bothered me so greatly.
The second is the fact that Giles certainly does have some type of articulation issue in the book – obvious and almost painful through his truncated thoughts and his near constant embarrassment over his inability to effectively communicate his thoughts, along with his debilitating fear that he will not understand what he has been told. There is an innocence to him due to this and it almost feels wrong to read about his love life (based on shallow reasons such as “I like kissing you” as a reason to marry) and his intimacies in the bedroom.
This brings me to his love interest, the fallen Lucy Whitaker. She, too, is introduced in other books in the Scandalous Sisters Series. Lucy waffles back and forth in the beginning of the book, trying to figure out if she’s choosing the right brother, since she made a poor decision over another set of brothers in the past. It’s hard to understand what drives her passion for Giles over his brother, Simon, other than Gile’s obvious tenderness toward her illegitimate son, Seth. Neither character felt very deeply developed and the basis of their “love” seems juvenile and in bad taste. So, I suppose that sums it up for me. Poor taste…but I still love you, Rose.