Heh heh heh, I can't seem to let these reviews be. (Sorry Stien! I'm sure you'll forgive me...)
So,... I finished Rona Sharon's Once a Rake.
Okay, so this story was a bit too long. And at the same time, I liked the book being so thick. I don't know why I contradict myself here, but this is how I feel about it.
The main characters, Izzy and Paris (hehehe,... sorry, but I just kept reading Paris Hilton all the time... sorry!), well, they kept pushing each other away constantely! Ok, so I understand the need of a bit of conflict, but this just went on and on...
And normally, I don't like that so much in a book. (Here, it sometimes got on my nerves too. I wanted to say: "Come on, people! Just say you love each other and get over it, don't be so silly! I know you love each other... just. say. it. Sheesh!")
And at the other hand, I didn't want this book to end. I liked the descriptions of the battle of Waterloo very much! In my opinion, it was here that Mrs. Sharon showed a most remarkable talent. She played me like a violin when Will, Izzy's brother, died. (God, Will... Although he was dead, he was a very strong character!). I cried like a baby...
I guess that's why I kept on reading. Because of Will, and the social issues mentioned in this book. I enjoyed the descriptions of Brussels (for very obvious reasons, heh) and I appreciated that the author did a great job on the research. There was even a mention of Ninove. So, yeah, I loved that part of the book. (My, am I not being patriotic here? :P ).
I don't think this book is a true keeper for me, though. Even if there were bits I liked very, very much (Like the charity, the war, Wellington...).
I blame it on the Paris-Izzy antics. They just had TOO much going on in their personal lives.
I also had the impression there was too much information tried to put into the story. Like, for example, that scene with the highwaymen. That could have been left out of the book easily, without changing the story. It was a bit pointless to me, especially since the highwaymen just appeared for 2 pages or so, but then no more. (Plot devices!!!)
Or the ending, with the dressing up part...
Perhaps in this case, 'less' would have been 'more', if you know what I mean.
I give this book a 7 out of 10.