Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Review: Unmasking of a Lady by Sophie Dash

Title: Unmasking Of A Lady
Author: Sophie Dash

Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: July 23, 2015
Publisher: Carina Press

A woman is revealed…
By day Miss Harriet Groves is a highly respectable lady, and a darling of society with her quick wit and blonde beauty. But by night Harriet dons a disguise, riding out into the countryside as the feared – and often revered! – Green Highwayman.

A life of crime was never the plan, but saving her family from ruin keeps Harriet riding into danger under the cover of darkness. A danger made all the more acute by the arrival of Major Edward Roberts, the man commissioned to unmask Harriet’s legendary highwayman and bring him to justice!

Harriet’s far too clever to fall into any trap the Major sets to capture her alter ego. Understanding it’s best to keep your enemies close, she sets out to thoroughly distract the Major from his duty using all of her womanly charms.

Only allowing Edward closer has unexpected consequences for Harriet. How could she have guessed that time spent sparring and flirting with Major Roberts could inspire an excitement in her equal to the adrenaline surge she experiences on her night-time adventures? It seems the dashing Major is a danger to her life, and to her heart…

My rating:

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***

By day, she’s Miss Harriet Groves, a blonde beauty flitting through society, currently pretending not to hear the gossip about her family’s monetary troubles. Come night, she don’s man’s clothing and a green velvet mask, robbing the rich on the winding roads of southern England as the Green Highwayman. You see, her family’s financial troubles are real and Harry, abhorring taking “charity” from her aunt, feels this is the only way to get her family through the tough times.

Fate soon throws a wrench in her plans, in the form of Major Edward Roberts, tasked with apprehending the highwayman and see him hang. Harry knows she should hate the guy for wanting to kill her, but she can’t...Because he’s just so hot.

This story started off great...And ended up a disaster thanks to the heroine who was an utter mess. She was all over the place, her schemes always failed, although she considered herself so intelligent, she had no idea how to plan for any contingency, she was self-absorbed and selfish (despite her protestations she was donning the guise of a highwayman for her family, she was actually doing it for herself in a rather foolish quest of asserting her independence—what would’ve happened to her family if she got caught? Oops, she didn’t think of that.), and in the end not that likable because of her volatile behavior and emotional games she played with the dashing Major.

Yes, emotional games, because the blurb got the part with her using her womanly charms to distract the guy. She didn’t use her charms, she didn’t flirt with him, plainly, she was an utter bitch to the poor man, her moods flipping in a blink of an eye, and I’m surprised the poor bastard didn’t get whiplash.

Speaking of the poor bastard. There wasn’t really much of him to speak of, since the story was told from Harriet’s point of view (albeit in third person POV). Some insight into the Major would’ve been appreciated, especially once his “feelings” toward the heroine were revealed, because they weren’t believable. I couldn’t believe or understand just why he’s fallen for her, because I didn’t see it or shared his opinion.
Neither did I buy her returning his feelings in the end. All I’ve read were two people attracted to each other. She to him because he was hot, he to her for some unknown reason. And because I didn’t buy the deeper connection between them, I couldn’t buy the story from the point (around 30%) I realized the heroine was an annoying bitch forward.

Also, the story was definitely too long, piled with layer upon layer of “conflict”, while just the first one (the highwayman thing) would’ve worked best in a shorter “setting” (and with a differently characterized heroine and a better developed hero). But no, we had to have another villain, granted, a pretty good one to add to the conflict between Harriet and her family, Harriet with Edward, and add to Harriet’s misguided martyr’s complex and her views of herself as some sort of hero.

Overcomplicated, overwhelmed with too much conflict, with an overly-annoying heroine, and a bland, under-developed hero.


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