The Widows Series by Roselyn Beck
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)
Quick & Dirty summary: Lady Grace Grayson is the quintessential Victorian woman. Polite, reserved, and modest, Grace is used to men dictating where she goes and what she does. However, now that she is a young widow, Grace is learning to live on her own. When she accepts an invitation to Rocksavage Manor she doesn’t expect her control and her virtue to be challenged by the exotic Kyle Calshot. She also doesn’t expect to be shot at or poisoned. The fierce attraction between Kyle and Grace is threatening Grace’s long-held control and is making it difficult to focus on finding who wants Grace dead. Kyle, heir to a Maori tribe and an English title, struggles to protect Grace while giving her the long-awaited freedom she desires. As secrets are revealed and lives hang in the balance, Grace must decide if she can trust her life, her reputation, and her heart to Kyle.
My favorite part of this novel was the inclusion of New Zealand culture. So often historical romances focus on Europe it is like the rest of the world doesn’t exist. While I cannot vouch for the book’s accuracy in portraying New Zealand or English attitudes towards New Zealanders, I still love that aspect of the novel.
Grace goes through quite a lot of character development throughout the novel, which has to be my second favorite aspect of the story. Kyle seems to struggle with a few things, but by and large seems to remain the same—it is really Grace who takes the trials and tribulations she faces as opportunities to further develop her character and personality. The friends she makes also help her in that endeavor, while laying a great framework for the next books in the series.
There are quite a few grammatical issues in the copy I received, but it wasn’t enough to bother me or prevent me from understanding what was going on in the story. What I didn’t really care for was the leap in Kyle and Grace’s relationship. The romance seemed to develop in fits and starts and threw me for a loop a time or two. While I enjoy a good mystery, the love story between the two characters should seem natural.
The mystery and suspense itself was rather straightforward. I anticipated who was in on the murder plot and where the important pieces where hiding, so in that sense it didn’t excite me too much. But, I don’t think of that as necessarily a bad thing. The pacing of the novel is pretty quick with lots of action and adventure. The secondary characters are interesting and well developed so the rest of the series promises to be good as well. Overall, this was a fun book to read.
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $2.99)
If you enjoy Victorian romance novels AND romantic suspense then you should buy this book. There is non-stop mystery and I haven’t read too many Victorian romances that involve New Zealand and other areas of the world that were known to Europeans so it’s worth reading for that aspect.
Something else you might enjoy:
I love Amanda Quick’s Arcane Society series. It has mystery, suspense, and paranormal components that make the books fun to read.