Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Impulse for the advance copy. It hasn’t affected the content of my review.
I’m mixed on this one! It does happen occasionally that I encounter a romance where the least interesting part is the romance. This is one of those times. And it’s not just because the romance part didn’t really grab me by the emotions; it’s also because the character work and the main plot were very good! But still. I came here for the romance, and I wasn’t really satisfied by it, personally. If you like romances where the two main characters are instantly attracted to each other and act on it before they develop feelings for each other, you will probably like this.
I personally prefer a slow burn, where the emotions come first. It’s the rare book these days that can get me invested in a couple that just hops into bed right away because they’re so hot for each other’s bodies, or whatever. It’s so emotionally empty for me.
But so! What we’ve got here is silk weaver Maddie Crewe and her Weaver’s Guild, who are currently perpetrating a scam on Mr. Giles, a cloth-seller, because he is a thief and a liar who takes advantage of the class system to make money. He refuses to pay workers for their labor, and he once had a weaver transported for trying to take back the cloth he hadn’t paid her for, and he deserves what’s coming to him. But when new to town Sophie Roseingrave finds out that a scam is being perpetrated, she makes it her business to put a stop to it, because her family was nearly ruined in the last year by a swindler in London, which is why they are now in the small town of Carrisford, trying to recover emotionally and financially.
Like I said, I loved the plot, loved the secondary characters, loved Maddie and Sophie on their own. Waite does such a good job populating her world with characters who have believable livelihoods, and there’s so much fun historical detail. I learned about silk weaving! And how modernization affected silk-weavers in the 19th century! And about how to tune a piano (Sophie’s family are musicians, and her father builds pianos). I just think I would have preferred a book where I didn’t feel the need to skip the main couple’s sex scenes because I was bored, and whenever they started getting schmoopsy with one another, wishing that they would get back to planning their scam (Sophie finds out what a shithead Mr. Giles is, and wants in on everything).
So, I liked this one, but it could have been much better for me. Maybe other readers will feel differently.