Well, this sequel to Illusion was really disappointing, especially given that I think it was my very last Julia Ross book other than her traditional Regencies. One of the things that bugged me is that the hero is almost exactly like the one in Illusion — prone to literary quotes, and always with method to his madness. But the big issue was that I found the plot utterly ridiculous.
I read My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas the other day (often lovely, though not her best, and I think I actually enjoyed The Hidden Blade more) and it made me think about the nature of coincidence in romance novels. There are some major coincidences happening in MBE, but it’s integrated into the story as the hand of fate, so it works pretty well. There are huge coincidences in Flowers Under Glass and we’re just supposed to accept them; even the characters aren’t surprised by them. I think this is pretty common for Ross’s work, where there are always plots within plots. Maybe it wouldn’t have bothered me so much here if the motivations for people’s actions weren’t so ludicrous.