Now that I’ve actually read the book, the cover makes me even more angry. I honestly, 100% no lie, did not read this book because of the cover. I find it loathsome. From far away, it’s bad. It’s clear the lady behind is wearing modern clothes. That is in no way the estimable Penelope Flood, beekeeper. The lady in front is wearing a dress that doesn’t fit, and also is ugly, and also she is supposed to be a printer. Where are her work clothes, where are her ink-stained hands. It gets even worse when you look at it up close, though. I got a hard copy out from the library, and up close, this cover is an abomination. Someone at Avon decided to complete this cover real quick on their lunch hour, because it is one of the worst Photoshop jobs I’ve ever seen. These are clearly two people who aren’t even in the same room. This is some uncanny valley bullshit right here. And to make matters worse, this is the best of Waite’s books in this series by a large margin, and it deserved to have a cover as beautiful as the first book got.
Anyway, now that I’m done ranting about this (for the moment), I do want to talk about how lovely the book was. Something I’m finding after some self-reflection is that a slow burn nearly always works better for me than a romance where the leads are hot and heavy for each other right away, even if the book is from an author whose work I have previously enjoyed. A really good author can make me love a romance where this happens, but not a mediocre one. I need time, I need to see the bond forming. This book is excellent at that. And while it was being excellent at building Flood and Griffin’s relationship (that’s what they call each other and it is adorable), it is also a fun piece of historical fiction, taking place around the same time the “trial” against Queen Caroline acted as a focus point for radical thought and reform in England. As one of our main characters is a printer with a radical thinker for a son, the events aren’t just background.
Anyways, if you happen to think the cover is ugly, too, don’t let that steer you away from the book, whose contents are not at all reflected in its outer package. Good title, though.
Read Harder Challenge 2021: Read a book with a cover you don’t like.