I read this book just after The Duchess War and the character traits that seemed new and appealing in that novel, palled the second time around.
What put me off:
Oliver's easy dismissal of Jane as a suitable wife dragged on until the last couple of pages and killed any impression I had of him as a man in love. I thought he was weak and calculating. How dare he sleep with her and tell her she's not good enough to marry. Any other self-respecting historical romance heroine would have hit him over the head with a chamberpot. What an asshole!
Jane had no self esteem. According to the story she is supposed to be a strong person but when you look at her actions (or should I say reactions because she doesn't do anything to get herself out of the situation she's in), she believes every bad thing anyone says about her. The 'quirkiness' of her costumes just made her seem unattractive and an object of ridicule.
I missed some of the quiet evocative writing that created such a lovely setting in TDW. There were too many secondary characters and their own little stories. It seemed chaotic.
What I liked:
The author starts out with characters firmly in their cliched pigeonholes then turns everything on it's head. She is unpredictable and so are her plots. I did like what she did with the 'mean girl' twins.
So I'll still read more of this author's book but these two MC's were a big turn-off!