Tuesday 14 February 2017

Book Review: Whispers in the Wind by Janet Woods

Title: Whispers in the Wind
Author: Janet Woods
Publisher: Severn House Publishing
Publication Date: 1 May 2017
Pages: 240
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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He is an Earl who was left at the altar . . . She was his childhood friend, his one true love . . . Now Fate has brought them together again.

December 1816. Ryder, Lord Madigan, has never got over the loss of his childhood sweetheart, Adele: the woman who abandoned him at the altar. The woman who humiliated him and left him a broken man. Now she's come home, a widow.

Wrongly believing Ryder to be dead, Adele has returned to her Dorset village to reunite with her family and pick up the pieces of her life. Despite everything, she has never stopped loving the man she jilted. But can she put right the wrongs of the past, and bring herself to tell Ryder the truth about why she left him - and the misery of her life since then?

Ryder too is keeping secrets from Adele. If the two former lovers are to have a second chance at happiness, they must overcome their pride and admit their true feelings for one another.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

I really wanted to like this book. I've read several other Regency tales with a similar premise (jilted lover/love found again) and found them most enjoyable. There was nothing wrong with the plot in Whispers in the Wind. The issue was with the two lead characters. I simply couldn't make sense of them or like them. Adele was so weak and flighty at times, I wanted to yell at her, but that was nothing compared to Ryder. He vacillated between hating Adele and lusting after her throughout the entire book. I could understand if he'd been angry and vengeful until her presence rekindled his former love. However, his interest in her never felt like love to me. When he wasn't declaiming his intention to punish her, he acted like a complete churl, making inappropriate comments and overly familiar advances. I know they had a history together, but his actions didn't seem right for the period, especially given his position and upbringing. I wanted to groan several times when he pawed at her. In some scenes he was noble and kind, but alone with Adele he came across as lascivious, mocking, and generally unpleasant. Considering this was an historical romance, the problems with the two leads were a major issue.

It's not all bad. As I said earlier, the plot was interesting and the action moved at a good pace. I also enjoyed the portrayal of some of the secondary characters, who came across as better rounded and more likeable than the pair of lovers, despite how little time we got to spend with them. Had Ryder not been such an unfathomable character, I might have been giving this book three stars or more. As it is, I don't think I can award more than 2.5, and that is mostly for the plot and pacing. 

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