Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A View to Kiss
Mariah is the beautiful and well-loved daughter of the Earl of Dorcester, who has made quite a name for himself in politics. The family has returned from years of travel and Mariah is thrust on the social scene to find a husband, and while her parents will leave the decision to her, Mariah is horrified to find that the men of the ton bore her. Harry Sinclair works for the crown as a spy and his latest job is to keep an eye on three men whom the government believes could be targets of discontents. So Harry dons several disguises while he discreetly follows the Earl of Dorcester around London, including that of Sir Henry Wroth, an elderly gentleman with a hunchback and a naughty sense of humor. At one of her parents balls, Mariah escapes the crows out on the balcony where she runs into a mystery man who tempts her and intrigues her like no man she has met. Harry knows that Mariah is far above him and that he should not be trifling with her, but he cannot stop himself from flirting with the beautiful and intelligent young woman, but he leaves before giving her his name.
More determined than ever to find out who he is, she enlists the help of her cousin and her mother, even while she doesn't reveal the entire story. Harry cannot resist and finds himself sneaking into Mariah's window at midnight to spend time with her and during these interludes he tells her about himself while still maintaining his anonymity. He begins to wonder what is going on with his latest mission because it does not seem like his usual protection business and he is proven right when he confronts his superior to discover that the men he is following, including Mariah's father, are possible traitors to the crown. Mariah realizes that Sir Henry Wroth is her Harry and sets out trying to spend every second possible with him, even while Harry is trying to keep his distance because he feels like he is not worthy of Mariah. But then Harry finds out that the Earl, and possibly Mariah, are in danger from the real traitors and when he intervenes he is thrust into Mariah's sights and she has no intention of ever letting him go; she just needs to convince Harry that they belong together.
This book languished on my bookshelves for awhile because I have not had much luck with Linden's spy novels, even while I have loved her other books. Mariah was rather one-dimensional I felt like and I couldn't really find anything about her that set her apart or made her special and I just felt like I didn't get much of anything from her. She was bored by the men of the ton, but I could not see why they weren't just as bored with her because I certainly was. Harry was a little better because we were given some interesting background about his family, but I feel like an interesting family history isn't really enough to make him interesting. I guess Mariah was drawn to him because he met her on dark terraces and in her bedroom in the dark because I didn't see what else there could have been. The two spent very little time together in the book and that very little time was secretive, furtive, and over incredibly quickly. I don't understand how either of them could feel like they knew the other well enough to fall in love. I really wanted these two to have had more time together- maybe that would have made them more interesting.
The majority of the book was taken up by her trying to find out who Harry was or thinking about how she wished she knew who Harry was and by him doing his spy job and trying to convince himself to stay away from Mariah. Really, that does not make a very interesting book and I will say again that I was so disappointed in the very stingy amount of time these two spent together. There were a few kissing scenes that got a little heated, but the only actual sex came at the very end and by then I was just eager for the book to be over and it was not that hot at all. Both of their families were interesting and I thought that her family was particularly well written because they were traditionalists but still were really just looking out for the best interests of their child. The spy plot was interesting at first, but when the romance completely stagnated I got frustrated that the spy plot was progressing while the relationship wasn't. I was able to guess what was going on before Harry and I just wanted to slap him for not seeing it too, and I wish that it had taken a backseat to more romantic developments.
Ratings: The book had a nice flow and writing style, but there was little romantic development and far too much spying in a book where neither character was able to pull me in.