Friday, June 12, 2015

Saving Persephone by Sue London
(The Haberdashers Series)

Publisher & Release Date: Graythorne Publishing, May 31, 2015

Time and setting: 1815, England, Scotland  

Genre: Historical Regency Romance

Length: 246 pages

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flames

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

In 1805 Robert Bittlesworth’s little sister and her two best friends decided to create a “boys club” because boys have more fun. Most protective older brothers would have discouraged such a thing. But Robert saw opportunity and began training them. 

Robert Bittlesworth has worked tirelessly in the Home Office for years, managing intelligence in the war against Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna. He also executed a plan to have his father exiled. Now that plan backfires when one of his father’s cronies kidnaps the Haberdashers… and the first woman he has ever truly cared about. 

Imogen Grant of Boston has traveled the world with her mother’s shipping company. She considers herself an exceptional judge of character, but she has never met anyone like Robert Bittlesworth. He is either the very best or the very worst man of her acquaintance. Can she decide which before she loses her heart?

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Vikki’s Musings

I fell in love with the Haberdashers Series when I read a teaser in the boxed set, Scandalous Summer Nights, and I immediately downloaded the all the books in the series that were available. When Ms. London asked me to review Saving Persephone, I agreed enthusiastically. This book is a great addition to the series.

Robert Bittlesworth, heir to a viscountcy and a spy master, lives for his work and defends his brother and sister fiercely. He is all about duty. When he meets Inogen Grant, he is immediately attracted to her and she to him. Imogen, an American from Boston, is like no other woman he has ever known. While single, she lives and travels on her own and takes lovers. To say he is intrigued is putting it mildly.

Imogen is a whimsical creature, out to indulge her fantasies, whether through travel with her mother’s shipping company or by her sexual escapades. Robert is different from other men, and she cannot decide whether he is a good man doing bad things or a bad one doing good. What she does know: She wants him.

Can this unlikely pair make a relationship work between them when there is so much distrust on each side, or will they reveal their true natures and find lasting happiness?

Saving Persephone has complex characters, and at times, I did not like either of them very much, while being drawn to them at the same time. I found Robert’s character easier to love because even though he has done terrible things in his past, essentially, he is an honorable man, willing to do whatever it takes to right a wrong and protect his siblings. When he decides he wants Imogen, he pursues her relentlessly, but when he realizes he is in love with her, he puts her wants above his own, even though those wants are in conflict to his own desires.

I loved the cameos of the Haberdashers from the previous books. Ms. London weaves them into the storyline with a masterful touch. I loved seeing how they tick now that they are happily married. When they are kidnapped along with Imogen, they use their wits to help in their rescue.

While I feel that I did see the many layers of Robert and could see what drove him, I never felt that I truly understood Imogen and her foibles. I could not immerse myself in her character as I like to do. That is why I struggled with empathizing with her. While she had an unconventional upbringing, she had loving parents. I know she has her gift and because of it, she does not want to be around people, but she distances herself so much throughout the story that I felt distance from her as well.

Nonetheless, Saving Persephone is an entertaining read with so much depth. It is important to look below the surface of these characters to find their true motivations. While this is not my favorite among the Haberdashers Series, it is a worthwhile addition. I can’t wait for Charlie’s story. Happy reading! 

Author Bio: 

Sue London has been a fresh voice in historical romance since her debut novel Trials of Artemis in 2013. In successive books in her Haberdashers series she has demonstrated an ability to balance each couple’s “happily­ ever­ after” with an underlying plot full of intrigue and danger. She is credited with writing strong, complicated characters who are as driven by their friendships as their romances.

If you like your historical romance with a little action, a little humor, and a lot of strong ­minded women, then this is the series for you!

Reader reactions: 
"Sue London is a very gifted writer. I always enjoy reading her books."

“It’s like the Regency Avengers.”

 "It was so well written, and the storyline is wonderfully thrilling. If I could I would have rated this book a ten, but five is all they allow so that's what it is." “Sue London is as good at bromance as romance.”

 "This witty love story enchanted me, and I look forward to reading more of the Haberdashers series."

You can keep up with Sue London on the following websites:
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