Till Dawn With the Devil
As reviewers, we often receive advanced reading copies that, while maybe aren’t the exact version that goes to press, are still pretty darn close. Thus, I can only assume that the version of Till Dawn With The Devil that I read was very close to being final. However, it read like an early draft. A very early draft.
Lady Sophia Northam has been close to blind ever since she was injured during the double-murder-suicide of her parents and the Earl of Rainecourt. She is now a young woman in London for the first time under the care of her two older reprobate brothers. It is here that she meets Reign, the current Earl of Rainecourt, whose father killed her parents before turning the gun on himself. It isn’t the only scandal in his past, though; eight years previous, his pregnant wife died of an accident that many called murder. Despite the tragic way their families are entwined, the two are attracted to each other.
When one of her brothers basically sells her in marriage to a total stranger in order to pay off gambling debts, she turns to Reign for help. As the two get closer, though, their combined histories come back to haunt them.
The problems with this book are twofold: Characters and writing. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t find anything particularly redeeming or likable about Reign or Sophia. They felt flat. Sophia annoyed me and was inconsistent. She is one of those characters that is praised and lauded for being so strong and smart just for not collapsing from pressure or fear or shock at seeing a penis. Reign lacks individuality from the countless other “Devils” that are scattered throughout Regency and Victorian England. He was wholly unoriginal.
In terms of writing, one adjective that comes to mind is purple. Not just in love scenes – though it certainly is – but everywhere. Everything is exuberantly described, adjectives and adverbs abound, and every sentence drips of melodrama. It is unnatural, stilted, and made me roll my eyes far too many times to count.
The story also lacks any sort of transition- between paragraphs, sections, chapters, even major plot lines. The ending comes out of absolute nowhere. I didn’t know where we were, what was happening, how much time had passed, and how this particular suspense plot came to pass. It was like an entire chunk of the book was missing. I can’t even describe how ridiculous this jump was, how poorly edited and written it was.
Oh, another annoyance: the “Lords of Sin” part. This is the second book in the series, and the author is setting herself up for a nice, long run. I lost count of how many men are in this particular group of friends. They all have nicknames that are supposed to be clever, but en masse are total overkill. Frost, Sin, Saint, Vane, Hunter, Reign, etc., all little plays-on-words with their titles or names. Really, I just lost track of who everyone was. It was overwhelming and more than a little ridiculous.
The plot of the book is decent. If it had been given interesting characters, more development and depth, and more sophisticated and polished writing, I might have enjoyed Till Dawn With the Devil. Unfortunately, a decent shell of a plot is all this book can claim.