The second to last of the Survivor’s Club, and there’s only a couple of weeks till the final one is released! I’ve timed this all very well it turns out. These are survivors of the Napoleonic Wars (6 men, 1 woman), and they all have suffered greatly. This time around it’s the one woman, Imogen’s turn to find love.
Imogen was married to Viscount Barclay and went off to war with him. She saw him tortured and die, and therefore has decided that she only gets to live on the edges of life. Percy, a distant relative of her husband’s, actually becomes Viscount Barclay and the Earl when her father-in-law dies. Percy is a man’s man, ladies man, man about town in every sense, but on his 30th birthday he feels restless so he decides to finally visit his earldom seat in Cornwall. Imogen was given the dower house of said property to live, and there is how we set up our meeting. Percy plans to come for only a few days, but after meeting everyone down there grows and matures.
So I actually didn’t dislike this one as much as I thought I would. I’m not really a fan of the “hate to love” trope in romances, but overall I think Ms. Balogh did pretty well with this one. Percy goes from being a spoiled, self-centered snob to a still spoiled, but less self-centered one. I really enjoyed watching his character change and grow, and for all that I got frustrated with his not wanting to grow up (“you’re 30, get over yourself!” May have been yelled at him once or twice) he did do it in the end. Imogen was much harder to know, but I finally liked getting to know her a little better as I felt like you learned the least about her in previous books.
Although, not enough for me. I wanted more from Imogen. Percy goes through all of these great changes, and Imogen for 90% of the book was quite unknowable. She’s nicknamed the “marble lady” by Percy and it’s very fitting. When her big secret is finally revealed it’s suitably tragic, but she never really changed all that much. I prefer when couples both change (often in different
ways) and grow together, but not when it’s one more than the other. The ending, after Imogen admits her secret, made it feel as if her character did almost a 180, and I didn’t get it. Also there’s this whole silly side plot with smugglers, but that’s not important.
Overall this one was an okay entry into the series. Mostly it just made me super excited for the final one, as we know both the characters already, and I love when “older” (not 20 year olds) find love!