Two very different (but similarly average) historicals

>> Thursday, November 01, 2018

TITLE: Aiding the Enemy
AUTHOR: Julie Rowe

Aiding the Enemy has a pretty unique premise. It takes place in 1915 in Brussels, which was then under German occupation. Rose Culver is a nurse who has been secretly helping British and other allied soldiers escape into neutral territory, right under the noses of the Germans. She knows it's almost inevitable she'll be caught; in fact, she has been on borrowed time for a while already. The hero is Herman Geoff, a German doctor working in the same hospital. German is well-aware of what Rose has been doing, but that's fine by his ethical code. He worries about her, though, and when it becomes clear his worries are well-founded, he decides to help.

This was very promising and the setup was fab, but the execution was not great. Herman was a bit too one-dimensional, and I never felt I got to know him at all. As for Rose, I found her actions too often impetuous and stupid ("oh, no, even though us marrying is the only way to save my life, it's not the right reason to do something as important as get married. I'm gonna run away instead!!"). Add to that zero chemistry, and this was pretty meh.

MY GRADE: A C-.

TITLE: The Mystery Woman
AUTHOR: Amanda Quick

Beatrice Lockwood started out life working as a clairvoyant, but left that life behind after her employer was killed and the murderer almost caught Beatrice herself. Since then she's been working for a detective agency where the detectives are all women and investigate by being placed as companions and governesses (this is second in a series based around this agency). The hero, Joshua North, is a former spy whose sister is being blackmailed. He initially thinks Beatrice is the blackmailer, but they're soon working together to investigate.

This was very average. The Mystery Woman was written back when Krentz was just stopping with her tedious Arcane Society stuff, so the paranormal element was not as bad as it could have been, but still not great. There are some nice moments, but nothing special. And same for the romance. I liked that Beatrice and Joshua are both mature grown-ups having perfectly good lives earning a living. They also seem to suit each other well. But for all that, they were a bit indistinct.

Nice enough way to pass a few hours, but unremarkable.

MY GRADE: A C+.

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