Sweet enjoyable historical romance read. Not the best. I was hoping this would be as good as her Wedding Trap series but it wasn't. :( I haven't read a Tracy Anne Warren book in a while I just remember loving her writing style and story plots. The set up in this was really intriguing, it had the best-friend secretly in-love with heroine for years equation that I really REALLY love. This story reminded me very much of Julia Quinn's [b:When He Was Wicked|110396|When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons, #6)|Julia Quinn|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1274212205s/110396.jpg|1118162]. Similar plot, you have the heroine, Mallory Byron, who's betrothed to another man (in this case not married yet) but he tragically dies during the war, her close and dear friend Adam, Earl of Gresham is there to help her through mourning. He's a family friend and has known Mallory since she was a little girl yet has secretly been in love with her for years and has wanted her for his own.
I liked the fact that the author didn't drag out the HR/H coming together through half the book yet started out real fast with them interacting and growing close from the first chapter. She picked up the story right when Adam comes back into her life, almost a year since her fiance has died. The beginning was great it started out being a 4-5 star book for me but unfortunately after they get married is when things start to veer off for me. It seemed as if everything came to a halt after they get married and move into their new home. The pacing of the book just dragged out really slow after that, I felt there were pages and pages of continuous summary of the mundane going-on in their married life where pretty much NOTHING happens. It made the story turn really stale really fast. Plus it's a big pet peeve of mine when authors give a bunch of summaries instead of action or gloss over events the characters went through days before and have the characters run through it like a inner dialogue. Arrgh! I mean what is the point of that? It's really annoying to get more summary then actual dialogue. Especially when it's love scenes. Come on! I felt a little cheated in that area too. Don't tell me how much she enjoyed all the gratifying sex positions days earlier just show it! (yes I like smut and don't mind seeing it more than once)
Anyways the reason this ended up being a 3.5 star is simply because there was no conflict, no real drama throughout most of the book. Oh if you count the 'surprise' reveal near the ending that causes a riff between the married couple, that was 'meh' for me. It was predictable because you know how it would turn out given that it all plays out in the last few chapters. But even so, that alone wasn't enough to fully catch my attention which was really frustrating because I kept waiting, and waiting.......and waiting
for SOMETHING to happen. I just kept finding myself thinking 'that's it?' while reading this. Real disappointing because I loved the characters. Loved Mallory, really sweet vivacious, smart whitty heroine who you can't help but love. And Adam was a yummy hero, total alpha male with a jealous-possessive 'I will not ever let her go' streak. Loved his passion and intensity when it came to Mallory. I just really REALLY wish the author spent more time giving more action, actual REAL angst and some more interesting conflict that the suspected marriage 'insecurities'. I know Warren's capable of it, I've seen it in her previous work.
This could have easily been 4-5 star book but it fell flat in some areas where I was dying for more! Aside from that it was a fun read with really great characters, sweet love story and the whole Byron clan with their family interactions/humorous banter was cute and enjoyable to read about.