The Infamous Heir
I’m really torn about The Infamous Heir, guys. Really torn. One one hand, Ms Michaels writes well, and her handling of mystery and angst is really satisfying. On the other hand, I absolutely hated the heroine for the first half of the book, and kept wondering if our hero, a pugilist, had taken a few too many hits to the head.
Lady Roselyn Grey has a plan. She’s going to marry the lord next door, Trevor Moore, give him an heir and a spare, and secure her place in society. Everything is set. And then her almost-fiancé’s brother shows up and spoils all her well-laid plans. Ethan Moore is finally back in England after being disowned by his family years before, and he finds himself absolutely captivated by the woman ro whom his brother is engaged. But then when Trevor is murdered, and Roselyn is convinced Ethan did the deed to get the title, Ethan’s life is thrown upside-down.
After spending a month in mourning, Ethan heads off to London to try and uncover the identity of the murderer. But every time he turns around, Roselyn is there. Ostensibly in town for her first Season, Roselyn, still convinced of Ethan’s guilt, starts following him as he goes about his business. So now Ethan has to figure out who murdered his brother and why, all while keeping Roselyn safe from both the current danger and others from his past.
The story itself is fascinating and intricate and fun – you have your romance, a murder mystery, and a plot twist I really didn’t see coming. I love the author’s writing style, but in many ways, that made reading the book that much harder.
Here’s the thing: Roselyn is absolutely infuriating. She spends a month in mourning after Trevor dies, but not because she loved him. No, it’s because her plan has been ruined. And she dwells! She insists on remaining in “secret” mourning for much of the book. She places a lot of pride on her standing in society and her “goodness” but then turns around and goes places and does things no well-bred young woman of the time would do, such as uses her mourning dress as spy-wear, or throwing mud at someone who makes her angry. Even just going on a walk with her almost-fiancé and no chaperone goes against societal conventions. And somehow she is still surprised when her reputation takes a battering. She never seems to understand that there are consequences to her actions, and that’s so frustrating that I spent the first half of the story basically hating her.
Luckily the second half of the book works much better.. Roselyn starts to get past the whole “life plan” thing, Ethan is actually able to connect the dots, and their back-and-forths turn from insults and bitching to teasing and actual discussion. Both Ethan and Roselyn are able to admit their feelings to themselves (which was a relief!), and somehow work together, despite the issues they had been dealing with.
While the mystery aspect of The Infamous Heir is interesting (and I loved the idea of using jet mining and trade as its base), I found the characters to be completely unrelatable at best, and simply infuriating the rest of the time. There are some interesting secondary characters, and it looks like they will be future main couples for this series. I’m hopeful, since they seemed to be a lot more interesting and less infuriating than Roselyn and Ethan.