There are several reasons why I gave this book four stars instead of five. There were excellent sections, and there were themes that became tiresome. This is a start to a new series, and I think it will improve with each installment. The book had exceptional writing; it also had ideas that I wish would have been handled differently.
Benedict and Amelia are forced into marriage after a misunderstanding compromises Amelia. The couple is night and day different. Their clashing chemistry was electric. Being so different, it is reasonable that they would fight. This tension between the pair was believable. However, they fought every few pages. I found the constant fighting and confrontation somewhat overwhelming at times.
The separation between the aristocracy and working class is highlighted splendidly. The growing affection between the couple is honest. The love built slowly, which gave the relationship validity. As different as they were, it would take time for the love to grow, and I felt this plot point reflected that concept. The only negative point I felt was that the romance took second place to the action and backdrop of the plot. Sometimes the couple’s dynamic got lost in turmoil around them. The locations of the factory and house party kept the story moving quickly. The unrest of the villagers and laborers gave a realistic feel. The conundrum in the plot of who we are versus who we have the potential to be is well executed.
Amelia’s good qualities were buried deep, but she blooms into a self-sufficient person with purpose. Benedict’s prejudices with the upper class run deep, but he slowly realizes nothing is set in stone. The couple created strength within each other’s weaknesses. The secondary characters were vividly written and carried the plot at times. Amelia’s previous suitor was selfish on the surface but had hidden layers as the plot unfolded. Benedict’s business partners had strong personalities. Cassandra, Benedict’s younger sister, stole the scenes with her sweet spirit. The aristocracy, which was the antagonist the majority of the book, still proved helpful at times. Amelia was excellent at navigating between the two classes, which helped her achieve the desired outcome. The secondary couple who are the focus of the second book is set up well, and I look forward to reading their story.
I enjoyed this book. I would have loved this book if the confrontational aspect had been toned down a little. That is a personal preference. The plot was sharp and intelligent. The dialogue could be both loving and vicious. I think the novel conveyed its themes of class differences and the world’s expectations versus a person’s true worth superbly. I desperately wanted the couple to succeed. I cared about these characters, and the ending was excellent. Overall this was a fun, thought-provoking, well-executed read.
I received this ARC through Netgalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing). This is my honest, voluntary opinion.
I couldn’t give this book an excellent rating because the constant bickering drove me crazy. The fighting served its purpose to move the plot along. It made the story fast and exciting. I enjoyed the themes of the book, and they intertwined well. The character development was the best part of the book. I am very excited for the next book because I loved the secondary characters who become the leads in the next book. This was a fun, energetic read. I have found a new series!