Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Review: Touchstone

Author: Linda Hilton
Title: Touchstone
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publish Date: March 1996
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Aurelia Phillips, Nethergate Hall's resident spinster - a quiet, reserved miss whose inability to tell even a polite lie had made her unmarriageable in London society - expected death to come calling. Her adopted grandfather, the Duke of Winterburn, was failing. Guests had already arrived to meet Joshua MacKinnon, the young wastrel who would inherit the ancient title and fortune of Winterburn. But Aurelia didn't expect Mr. Kit Ballantyne of Charleston, South Carolina. Silhouetted against a tempestuous storm, Kit's strength and stature were disturbing, and so was the ominously sealed letter he presented to the ailing Duke. If Galahad, her discerning pet deerhound, hadn't accepted Kit at once, Aurelia might have feared for her life - especially when the Hall's haughty mistress turned up murdered. Instead Aurelia felt drawn to the stranger as her only ally amid growing suspicions and increasingly sinister events. But while a killer stalked the halls and passion ambushed her heart, Aurelia needed to discover why Kit had come to Nethergate, and who he really was...because honestly, openly, and perilously, she was falling in love!

Review:  I really wanted to like this book more than I did, but it was really a little too slow in pace for me and it didn't have enough believable romance. 

The book takes place over a period of about 4 or 5 days. In those days, there's at least 2 murders and a few attempted murders and a bit of a snow storm, and Kit and Aurelia experience something close to love at first sight, even though they are trying to solve several mysteries.

There are so many things that made me go "hmmm" as I was reading. Aureila never lied. WTF! C'mon now! I don't care who you are, a white lie is bound to come out now and then. Then there's Kit, he travels to England to find out about his family but not to lay a claim on a title that could possibily be his? Really? A man who has lost 15 years of work and a possible partnership because his boss sold the company? And his fiancee as a result? Not want the wealth an English title brings? I find that hard to believe!

But I'd be lying if I said there was nothing enjoyable about the story. The fact that it wasn't a bodice ripper was a bit refreshing. If it weren't for a few scenes, this historical could almost pass for a Christian story.  The problem is, there was so much sexual tension between the two characters that the relationship not really going the route of hot steamy sex just somehow felt wrong to me.

What I did enjoy was the intrigue. Ms. Hilton keeps you in suspense throughout the story. This wasn't a whodunit that was easily guessed, and that was the main reason why I kept reading this book. I started it a month ago, and kept putting it aside in favor of something else.

I was satisfied with the ending, though the way she did away with the villan was just a bit too easy for my liking. All and all it was a good read, maybe it would have been a better one if I didn't have such a huge pile of fantastic books waiting for my attention.

Rating: 3 flowers


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