The particulars: Historical Paranormal Romance, Sourcebooks, available as e-book and in print
The Source: Discover a new love
The Grade: D+
Sir Terence Blackwell is a lion shapeshifter who is determined to find the magical relic that killed his brother. When he sniffs out the taint of magic on Lady Felicity Seymour, a disinherited duchess, he's sure that she's far craftier than she first appears. Terrance believes that the easiest way to learn all of her secrets is to court the young miss. Unfortunately, Terrance's plans for vengeance are soon thwarted when he finds himself falling under the lady's enchanting spell...
I downloaded this from Discover a new love since I read and liked The Firelord's lover a couple of years ago.
This is a light paranormal, set in an alternate Victorian London. I had a lot of fun trying to guess which parts of London the different neighborhoods was based on. The alternative place names felt right and reflected the neighborhoods status. How the magic system was set up appealed a lot too me. I liked that you ( and your family) could raise or fall in status, depending on which kind of magic you had. I also liked that no one could do everything.
The thing I liked most about this book was Terence and Felicity. Both of them were shaped by their backgrounds. Terrence just lost his brother, and is fiercely protective of his remaining family. And I liked the lengths he went to protect Felicity.
Felicity has spent her life being ignored. And her adaptions to that made me smile. But the first scenes made my heart ache as well since they showed very clearly how her life must have been.
Too me the plot was very predicable. From the way they met, to their courtship and then their HEA. The thing that kept me reading was Terence and Felicity's relationship, but when I stopped reading yesterday I wasn't sure if I would finish this. In fact, it wasn't until the last 70 pages or so that I felt that I was interested in what happened next.
A lot of that stemmed from my main problem with this book: I had a lot of problem connecting with the characters. I liked Terence and Felicity, but I didn't love them. It felt like their feelings were just hinted at, and never truly shown. Which is too bad, since I felt that there was a lot of promise in the worldbuilding, and in parts of the plot.