Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Catching up on Reviews: The House in Grosvenor Square

Title: The House In Grosvenor Square
Author: Linore Rose Burkard
Genre: Regency, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction
Pub Date: April 2009, Harvest House Publishers
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased from Books-a-Million

Synopsis (from the back of the book)

As Ariana Forsythe plans her wedding to Philip Mornay, she must adjust to the realization that she is soon to become the wife of an extremely wealthy man. She wonders if it’s wrong to rejoice that her future husband is rich. But she promises herself to use her new position to do what she can to aid the numerous street waifs she sees all too often in London.

During a tour of her future home—the house in Grosvenor Square—Ariana makes plans to redecorate according to her tastes. But when Philip arrives home later, he is informed that an expensive silver candlestick and a miniature portrait of George III have gone missing. Moreover, each time Ariana visits the house, accompanied by a friend or relation, another item disappears.

When Ariana suffers an abduction attempt by two villains, and other mysterious goings-on are unexplained, Mr. Mornay must unravel the  mystery of who is after Ariana and why.  He knows he has to prevent any harm from befalling his future bride, even if it means he must keep her under lock and key in his own house!

My Thoughts

Well, you might know by now that I seem to have mixed luck with my Christian Fiction reads.  This, unfortunately, was not one of my luckier picks, it seems.  I was pretty excited about the idea of a Regency Inspirational book, but this is a far cry from my beloved Georgette Heyer's Regency England.  (And I'm sorry, I know it's probably blasphemy in the world of books and literature, but I will take Heyer over Austen any day of the week.)

I did not realize when reading this book that it was actually the sequel to another book, Before the Season Ends.  I don't believe that my opinion of this book would have changed any even if I had read the first book, though.  I had several issues with this story when you get right down to it.  I thought the characters were flat.  Oh, I suppose Ariana was fleshed out pretty well, but Philip Mornay was such a bore.  The supporting cast wasn't much better.  I felt like I didn't even know who Mrs. Bentley was -- I never knew what to expect with her.  Peter O'Brien... I hardly even know what to say about him.  I suppose I can see where there may be a sequel involving him and Ariana's younger sister, but you won't catch me reading it.

The synopsis would also lead you to believe that you will find mystery and intrigue inside this book, but we basically know from the beginning who is behind the plots against Ariana, both in Philip Mornay's home and with respect to the kidnappings.  What's the fun in that?  I like to be able to speculate about what is going on and see if my guess is right when the evil-doers are finally unmasked.

Really, I found the whole book to be a snooze-fest.  By and large, there were few sparks for me as far as the romance was concerned -- perhaps once or twice I got momentarily excited by Ariana and Philip's relationship, only to have those feelings fall flat soon after.  By the time I was about a third of the way through I found myself skimming more than actually reading every page.  I'd say the Christianity piece is preachier than what I like to read, but it wasn't THAT big of a turn-off in that respect.  I guess I just had a harder time envisioning it within the Regency world than I thought I would.  But when you get down to it, I had bigger problems with the story, the characters, and the mystery, or lack thereof.

My rating:


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