Thank you, Net Galley and the author, for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.
Where to start, I had seen this lovely novel presented on Instagram a few days ago and I had been elated to see it in Net Galley for an early ARC. I was over the moon about it, as the characters seemed to be strong, witty, and held well-written. I do not have a degree in how history is or was back in the era that this book is set in, so for a novice like me–I look for characters that will garner my attention and make me want to get to know them.
Katie Stone did an excellent job at writing the characters and their backgrounds, to fully fleshing them out by mid-way of the book. However, as I continued to love the flirtations between Melody and Cam, Melody pulled a doozy out of the left field, leaving me floored. The fact that she would make an accusation of such a nature and then further berate Cam into nothing, was repulsive, and the fact that he was willing to forgive her and be guilt-tripped by her own insecurities? That is not love, that’s manipulation and narcissistic behavior at its finest.
Melody continued to be manipulative, disguising it as being cute and flirty when I saw a weak and deranged young woman who used her wiles to manipulate a man she already knew had feelings for her. I couldn’t continue with the novel because this book just encourages narcissistic behavior in relationships, and I am not for that. With all that Melody hurled at Cam, he should have left her and never looked back–I honestly couldn’t even stomach how he easily forgave her for the despicable behavior after just dancing with her at a ball? Then Melody had the audacity to make ground rules while purposely flirting with him, and Cam accepted her terms after she legit accused him of something that shouldn’t be taken lightly while guilt-tripping him for days?
No, just no. That’s not romance, that’s not how it should ever work. I just–no. This book is not for me, and just a fair warning to others who do read the novel, we may have differing opinions, and you have the right to it–as I do to mine. I felt this novel could have been a major hit until that vapid and unnecessary scene. There was just no turning back or fixing a relationship with how she kept acting afterward, it just, you cannot treat people that way and tell them you love them. With the utmost respect to the author, this novel is given 2 stars, and the only reason for the two stars is for Elsie.