Review: In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster
A mysterious Scottish laird is on the hunt for a Cynster sister to become his wife. He doesn't really want to do it; His mother is forcing him through blackmail. His first attempt to secure a Cynster wife failed when Heather Cynster got away from the kidnappers he hired (in Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue.) Now, he is hoping for better luck by hiring a new man to snatch her younger sister Eliza.
But shortly after the kidnappers take to the road with their quarry in hand, Eliza manages to gain the attention of a gentleman in a passing carriage. That man, Jeremy Carling, will eventually become her rescuer. But escape from the captors is only the beginning. The laird and the man he hired won't let them get away so easily. The story follows their pursuit of the couple, as they try to make their way back to England and to safety.
The basic plot of the book is a great deal like its predecessor. The biggest difference is that here, more time in the story is focused on the getaway than the time our heroine spends in captivity. The love story is ok. Neither our hero or heroine is flighty or fickle. There is a quiet surety to their relationship as it develops. And despite their own insecurities, there is never any doubt to their feelings for each other.
But this book was far too long. The first half had decent pacing, but the second half just went on and on. Too many love scenes in too much detail. (Holy cow! I never thought I would say that about a book.) While they were good at the beginning, they lost their magic by the third or fourth round. And the maps. Good gravy, they consulted the maps every five minutes. And described the routes and roadways in excruciating detail. I found my eyes jumping over chunks of text every time someone pulled out a map because I knew what was coming next.
The story was most effective when it focused on Eliza and Jeremy discovering their feelings. It was also gratifying to watch them grow as individuals as they learned to be a couple. The laird is also interesting as we learn bits and pieces about him and his motivations. But the book was bloated. I believe an aggressive editor could have streamlined this into a much stronger piece. 3 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley