Title: And Then She Fell
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Source: from publisher for review
Review Summary: The unique premise and appealing heroine made this both a great romance and an exciting mystery.
Henrietta Cynster doesn’t believe she’s meant to fall in love. Instead she’s devoted her time to helping other young women determine if their suitors are truly motivated by love. However, when she breaks up a match that was motivated by good intentions (but not love) she feels honor-bound to help James find another bride. This being a romance, Henrietta and James are immediately attracted to one another, but their own stubbornness and some societal constraints have to be overcome before they realize it. Once they do, the book becomes largely a mystery, although one intended mainly to highlight the depths of their feeling for each other.
While I’ve read few other romances, I would still bet that the writing style in this book is typical of well-written books in the genre. The plot, however, seemed pretty unique. First, our heroine’s goal was definitely not to get married (a difference from many of Lauren’s other books, I think). Something Lauren’s seems to do a lot, but which I didn’t expect in a romance, is adding an element of mystery. This allowed the book to last longer and the reader to enjoy the main characters’ romance without artificially stretching out the formation of that relationship. It wouldn’t make me recommend the book to a fan of the mystery genre though, as the reader’s are never presented with enough information to solve the mystery themselves.
Despite the mystery, the book still felt a little drawn out to me. There were two or three sex scenes with nearly identical descriptions, where I’d have been happier with one. Lengthy discussions of what to do next could also have been eliminated. And please save me from descriptions of heroes with eyes “like chips of adamantine agate”. That said, I definitely enjoyed this book enough to read more in the series. The slow burn of the romance was brilliantly executed. I loved the choice to let us know a little of what James was thinking as well so we could see both characters’ feelings evolve. The regency setting was everything I could have hoped for. At least one real person made an appearance, which I always appreciate in historical fiction. And best of all the fantasy of living in such a society with balls and romance is, if unrealistic, still unspeakably appealing.
This has been a TLC book tour, which means more reviews are available here.