When reading this book, all I could help thinking is almost. It was almost great. I was almost convinced that they fell in love with each other. I was almost happy with the ending. Many of the scenes and reactions I was expecting never happened. The book was by no means horrible, but I truly felt it could have been so much more.
What I did really like with this story was the mystery of the French Blue. I’m not 100% sure it’s the same diamond that is in the Titanic movie, but that is the vibe I got from it. I also like men who think they know the best things for the women they love, but they are so very wrong. It’s sometimes like they feel they need to punish themselves because they don’t believe they’re enough. I find it heart wrenchingly adorable (if somewhat misguided)!
Caroline and Henry meet when they are very young, and after just a few weeks they secretly elope. After spending the night together, Caroline goes home. Later a mutual friend comes to tell her that Henry has left and will not return. Of course Caroline thinks the worst, that she is a gullible female who let a boy use her. Because of this pain, she builds a wall around her heart and quickly enters into another marriage. This marriage however, is one strictly of convenience and friendship.
Fast forward about twelve years, and we find Henry stressed because he has to return to England. He works for the crown as a spy and he finally tracked down the French Blue (a large blue diamond) that he plans to use to bribe Napoleon with to save many English soldiers’ lives. Even though Henry plans to avoid Caroline as much as possible, he finds he cannot fight the magnetism between them. She is staying with her brother since she is recently widowed and becomes tangled up in the mess of the diamond as it is stolen at a masque that she attends.
Together the two try to find the missing gem, all the while old feelings reemerge. This is where I think I get lost with the love story. They never really go back to that time when they first fell for each other. I was expecting flashbacks of some sort, but they didn’t come. I believe it would have helped tremendously. The ending was somewhat predictable; however, I felt it was too easy. I don’t know a better way to describe it. They are facing the knowledge throughout the whole book that Henry will be leaving back to France once his business with the diamond is over. The fix for this problem was just too convenient.
I did enjoy this book, and it had some funny bits. It needed a little more though for my standards. I would rate the intimacy for 18 years and older. The author and the book have a lot of potential. The mystery behind the French Blue still has me intrigued, and I will be adding the rest of the series to my to-read shelf.
**ARC provided by Publisher**
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