3 Stars: A Good Read
Series: The Lacey Chronicles #3
Hardback: 272 Pages
Publication: January 8, 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Mercy Hart, daughter of one of London's wealthiest and most devout cloth merchants, is expected to marry her equal in rank and piety. Certainly not Kit Turner, a lowly actor and playboy, who also happens to be the late Earl of Dorset's illegitimate son. But when a chance encounter throws them together, Kit instantly falls for the beautiful Mercy's charms . . . and Mercy can't deny the passion that Kit stirs within her. She seems ready to defy her father's wishes--ready to renounce her family and her family name for true love.
Then Kit finds himself accused treason.
Will Mercy have the strength to stand by him? Or will she succumb to pressure and break his heart?
A true rogue, Kit won my heart with his Player's heart. He's flamboyant in his manner of dress and speech, and I would probably laugh at his outrageous outfits if I saw him in person, but I do love a good rogue. One of my favorite literary guys of all time is a rogue from a book set in a historical setting--George from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet. Kit is a gallant hero. He's kind and brave. No matter what is said of him, he stays true to his heart be it acting on the stage, disciplining his unruly half-brother, or pursuing the love of his life. Mercy, on the other hand, is a bit frustrating. I love her, but she's so innocent and religious that she takes offense at very small things and often takes things the wrong way. At the same time, she's a fiery little spirit and can hold her own in a fight if need be, and I loved watching her grow into a mature young lady with the strength to stand up for her beliefs. I really hope to see a fourth book about the youngest Lacey brother so that I get to see more of Mercy and how married life with Kit suits her.
Given the synopsis, I was expecting to see more of the book dedicated to Kit being accused of treason. However, the first half of the book is about Mercy and Kit mooning over each other. It works out okay, as I also expected Kit to take a while to win Mercy's heart; still, the transitions between events aren't smooth, the time skips don't flow into one another, and the romance ends up feeling rushed. While I can believe Kit being intrigued by Mercy from first sight, I didn't think that such a wordly Player could fall so hard for a girl like Mercy so quickly, especially since they don't get many chances to talk immediately after their first meeting. I would also have appreicated it if the book went into more depth on the trials that Mercy and Kit go through to reconcialiate Mercy's strict but loving father with Kit's background.
A true historical novel, this book delves into Mercy's Puritan roots and her religious conflict. There are also treasonous plots surrounding Mary, Queen of Scots, and an appearance by William Shakespeare. Though the plot is simple and generally predictable, this book is an enjoyable read overall. I haven't read the first two books in the series, but I'm definitely going to be reading them as soon as I get copies of them in my hands! I recommend this book for those who enjoy a good historical romance.
An ARC was provided by Random House for review.
Eve Edwards has a doctorate from Oxford University and thinks researching a large part of the fun for writing historical fiction. She has visited Tudor houses, attended jousts and eaten Elizabethan banquets to get the sights, sounds and tastes right for this book. And, yes, she can testify that it is possible to eat neatly without the modern invention of the fork. She lives in Oxford and is married with three children.