When focused on the issues of polygamy and the troubles in the home and Brinley's escape from a religious order she does not agree with? This book was...moreWhen focused on the issues of polygamy and the troubles in the home and Brinley's escape from a religious order she does not agree with? This book was good. When focused on Porter? I had to grit my teeth to get through it. His attitude and general "bad boy" demeanor did nothing for me and I felt neither sympathy or affection for him.
The last half of the book was very suspenseful as others have said, but I found the romance deeply flawed.(less)
Where to begin? I picked this up at my library when I felt like reading something during the Revolutionary period, but wi...more**spoiler alert** *long sigh*
Where to begin? I picked this up at my library when I felt like reading something during the Revolutionary period, but with a bit of romance. What I found instead was a lot of period flourish with a decent pit of history and a lot of romance. There were parts where the dialogue was very witty and entertaining and there were memorable scenes such as during Kate's dress pitting, her arms held aloft with pins digging into her as she is semi-interrogated.
I won't go into too much spoiler detail, but these good scenes were few and far between. What lost me was obviously the sheer amount of defenseless women running about being assaulted or raped or whatever have you. Here are just a few-- 1. Milly the pregnant woman at the beginning of the book, is gang raped for three days. 2. Peter's mother. He is a product of rape. 3. A farmers wife, never named, who is gang raped by Bay and his men. 4. It is suggested several times throughout the book what "happens" to female spies, being rape and then execution. 5. Kate and Bay. She is posing as Lydia and is his "finacee" which means there are some very dubious consent scenes. Ends in a rape scene at the end, tho it takes awhile to determine if it is rape for everyone involved because he declares he would have stopped had she asked. At the the same time his reputation and behavior suggests otherwise and it was definitely not consentual.
Kate, despite suddenly becoming a trained spy in the mere length of a few pages, spends a great deal of time being pretty, but helpless. She is poisoned, dragged by Peter back to her father (who allows her to make her own choice and remain a spy. 1+) but then constantly has Peter demanding she give up the whole thing and run away.
Speaking of Peter, I found the whole of their courtship-- rather not to my taste. After a very aggressive and forward attempt on his part to "debauch" her as he put it, when quartered in her home, they seem to never be able to forget one another despite the implications it was all a trick later. She allowed all this flirting only in order to retain letters he has taken, but for a Quaker girl she falls apart far too easily to his charms. After the theft of his more important documents by the Widow (another female spy), he spends half the book thinking Kate is the thief and delights in calling her a "bitch" a "whore" and my personal favorite, trying to blackmail her into sex because now that he knows she is no innocent farm girl, well! He can do what he likes! This is of course, a lot of hurt posturing, as he would never do these things with his distaste for Bay and his rapey ways, but he sure does threaten it a lot.
All the mess gets cleared up in the end it seems and the two finally have sex that involves too much talking about what she did with Bay, the pretend fiance and raping scumbag (aka they mentioned it like twice but I was so done hearing about him at that point).
The sex scenes were not horrible, but rather lewd for someone who is suppose to be a sheltered Quaker. I enjoyed them well enough to be quite honest except for the-- pseudo rape scene between Bay and Kate left a bad taste in my mouth and felt like it was written to satisfy the desire to be with the "bad boy" while masked as her "punishing" herself. Having the main female lust after a man who rapes and pillages and beats his servants? I am not sure any matter of justification was going to make me believe that relationship was meant for anything but titillation to those who enjoy that kind of thing. I am not one of them.
The "plot twist" at the end can hardly be called that. The twist was so painfully obvious with the hints dropped constantly about the shared appearance between Bay and Peter that it hardly needed clarification. The attempt in suddenly making Bay sympathetic was really unsettling to me. He is the product of incest, so it is okay that he has raped his way through half the Colony countryside? Spare me.
In short, it took me about three hours to finish it and it was, like my star rating-- okay. Ish.