This book should have a warning attached:
Could cause hair loss
I spent more time pulling at my hair in utter frustration while reading this book than any other in recent memory.
Here's why; the story, plot, and premise, all of those could have easily gotten 5 stars from me. So much promise for fun, so much potential for steamy encounters, so much hope for catty banter and confrontations that could have easily been made legend.
Never before as the word "soon" been so alluring. And I am an absolute sucker for a part-Rom playboy, who is not a gentlemen. Some of Roman's wit, words and wiles were very swoon worthy.
Unfortunately it was all greatly muddied by a confused, contrived and fumbled writing style.
There were literally whole passages and pages that I did not understand, some of them very important because they told what the Charlotte was feeling about a particular interaction or what her intentions truly were.
You know how in a story the reader actually knows how the character is feeling and part of the point of the book is to watch the character discover it themselves? Well, in this story, the reader never really knows -- it's all a great joke to string us along while they go about their business falling in love and shedding their societal bonds.
Don't get me wrong, I think that Anne Mallory tries to tell us what is going on, but words arranged in a semblance of a sentance does not a sentance make. Sometimes you can be pretty, sometimes you can be creative, but you always should be clear.
For this reason, I had the hardest time really being invested in the characters. I was always wondering and guessing at Roman's 'game' with Charlotte. I still don't know if I get it. There was a point at the end where he confesses that he 'set her up'. It was a definite 'WTF' moment since I had no idea what he actually 'set' up.
Maybe it's just me though.
Damn Anne Mallory for making the brooding, passionate brother the next story. I really don't want to trudge through another book if it's like this one, but dammit, Andreas sounds like my kind of man! Which is quite the surprise because while I wasn't 100% in love with her writing style inSeven Secrets of Seduction, I still could follow along, relate even just fine.