Friday, January 27, 2012

Advanced Review: A Tryst with Trouble by Alyssa Everett (4 stars, historical)

Full Description: Amazon

Rating: 4 out of 5

Thoughts After Reading:
Okay, here's the thing: my overall feelings for A Tryst with Trouble were definitely positive, but it wasn't a clear cut win. The book has quite a bit going for it. For one thing, much of the novel was hilariously funny between the witty dialogue and thoughts by the characters, to the point that I found myself grinning more often than not. At the same time, the lighthearted elements are tempered nicely by some more serious themes. The hero has grown up with a gay father, at a time when same-sex intercourse was illegal. Since the father is a duke, I assume he felt he had a duty to marry and produce a heir. At any rate, he's a good father and tries his best to make everything as normal for his family as possible (within reason). Rumors of the father's orientation are well known within the ton, though, and the hero grows up resenting his father for the grief he's had to deal with as a result. Meanwhile, the heroine is one of those misses whose younger sister is excessively pretty according to the fashion of the ton. The heroine is beautiful as well, but in a more sensual manner and thus has a low opinion of her own attractiveness. As another positive aspect, there was also an original intrigue plot that brings the protagonists together.

Now to the negatives: while the murder mystery was not quite like anything I've read before (mostly in a good way), it was also slightly offbeat and the motives that drove the culprit definitely fell into the classification of "creepy." Similarly, while the protagonists' insecurities did lead to some fun bantering the small misunderstandings between the hero and heroine eventually got tiring. It felt like the author was using the same misunderstanding over and over again (imagining either slurs against the hero's father or the heroine's lack of attractiveness). And then later, when there is a moderate-sized misunderstanding towards the end of the book: not only can the reader can see it from a mile away, but my reaction was to simply cringe a little. It is quickly swept under the rug after the hero and heroine are reunited, but I would have liked at least a small explanation from the hero for the sake of closure.

As I said at the beginning of the review, I liked A Tryst with Trouble. It has its faults, but it also has a fairly engaging storyline, plenty of fun comedy, and everybody goes home happy at the end. Especially taking into account the fact that it's a debut novel, I feel A Tryst with Trouble is worth checking out :).

This review is based on an ARC copy I received on NetGalley, thanks to a publisher who is obviously awesome.

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