Review: Lord Shallow (League of Rogues #2) by Eileen Putman - .Red Wine & Books

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Review: Lord Shallow (League of Rogues #2) by Eileen Putman


Print Length: 362 pages
Publisher: Anglesey Press (May 20, 2020)

From Goodreads.com:  To all of London, Sebastian Traherne is a pretentious fop who prizes his tailor over his dukedom. In truth, he's an obsessively rational fellow protecting a secret marriage. When a prickly Welsh miss arrives at his crumbling castle one gloomy night, she upends his world—and every principle he holds dear. Worse, she believes in a silly fairy tale known as True Love.

Gwynna Owen might be the last true Princess of Wales, but she needs this very English duke to claim her legacy and vanquish a tyrant. When Sebastian quickly sees through her boy's disguise, she must plead her case with only a rusty dagger—and sapphire eyes that conjure what he most wishes to avoid.



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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This is one of those stories that the things that I didn't like about this story, other people probably will. 

To be honest, this story had a lot of potential, however, I don't feel like the author ever really "got there". It started off strong with Gwynna masquerading as a boy as she attempted to reach the castle of the man she believed to be her father - only to find that he had died and his nephew the new Duke. She spins Sebastian a fanciful tale of her mother and father being in love and wedded in secret (although they lived on two different continents and she had never met the man), and he offers to accompany her back to her homeland for proof. 

This is where for me, things started to fall apart. They don't find evidence to support Gwynna's claim, yet Sebastian accepts her as a part of his family vowing to settle ten thousand pounds on her, and should she want it, launch her into English society. I'm sorry, the aristocracy didn't work look like, at best, he should have looked at Gwynna (or her mother) as someone out for money. There were also a lot of complicated feelings between these two which for me often got in the way of what they were out to accomplish. This wouldn't have been so bad if not for the fact that Sebastian was not only married, but his wife was "recovering from a long illness" in a hospital.

Then again, it was hard to like either of these characters to begin with. Sebastian (while yes, the foppish peacock persona he put on to disguise his true self was interesting), he was not. Nor can I really look kindly on a man who is having inappropriate desires for a woman not his wife. That may be nitpicking, but this is after all my honest opinion. Then you have Gwynna who is so self-absorbed that there were times I wish Sebastian would throw her from a moving carriage. She persists in calling him "Englishman" and questioning everything about him even when he has been nothing but kind to her. She takes "offense" to what seems like every other word out of his mouth, and is prickly at best. I mean seriously, he rescues her from her own stupidity and arrogance more than once and after they sleep together and he comes to her rescue (again) she takes offense to him telling her she's under his protection, so she puts her dagger to his throat and tells him that he only lives because she allows it? Sebastian, dude. Just walk away from that poisonous tart. 

When they return from their futile mission to prove whether or not she is actually related to him, it is not long until his wife "escapes" from the hospital and returns home herself - looking better than he expected (as apparently, it was too much to ask that he visit her, no he left that up to his "best friend" knowing a said friend was also in love with her). Now I liked Elizabeth. There was a sweetness to her that was lacking with Gwynna that was refreshing. I enjoyed watching the interactions both between her and Sebastian, but always the way that she just seemed to immediately accept Gwynna. 

Thankfully, Sebastian was spared from having to choose between the two women when it comes to light that that "best friend" I mentioned earlier had actually deceived them, and they were not legally married to begin with. Of course, this leaves Sebastian free to return to Anglessy with Gwynna and pursue her and his feelings for her (which she claims to reciprocate, but again is just downright full of herself and her literal "faerie tales" that I have a hard time buying it). 

And can someone explain to me the point of having Angus and Hannah's romance haphazardly tossed into this book as well instead of giving them a book of their own?  That to me was another example of the author rushing through an idea and then throwing something together to try and make it make sense. 

As I said above, the things I didn't like other people are more likely to enjoy. I may give this author another chance down the road.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                 Lord Shallow is available from Amazon.com

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