I have to be honest. In this book, I didn’t get what I expected, which was romance, but instead I got a historically pretty accurate retelling of the campaign Lord Wellington fought in Spain during the Napoleonic War. (Kind of a big reminder of my master’s thesis, btw.) However, I never thought to stop reading this book, because the writing style was so amazing that I never even cared that this book was about something that neither interested me much, nor I knew much about.
goodreads-note: This is all happening very fast and yet not fast enough. I am looking forward to when the detailed war goings-on are over.
Obviously, that never happened, but I thought it worth mentioning that this is what I thought and expected 26 pages into the book.
The marriage came about very quickly – I was absolutely shocked by the age of the bride, though I probably shouldn’t have been – but that wasn’t what I noted about that event. As far as I could tell, it happened on my birthday, way, way before I was born. 8th of April. Nothing ever happens on that day, except for Easter Sunday every once in a while.
goodreads-note: I have to say… I expected to read a romance, or at least a book about Harry and Juana. But for now there is much more war history than anything.
And, unfortunately, from what the reader is told of the relationship, it is entirely based on their hot tempers and her doubts. I wouldn’t mind a sweet moment between them, without questionable pet names.
Do not read this book, if you want to read romance.
Do not read this book, if you don’t like detached narration.
Do not read this book, if you think this is the story of Harry and Juana, and their marriage.
Do not read this book, if you need character development.
Do not read this book, if you cannot abide war and the honest truth about its cruelty.
Do not read this book, if you are not interested in Napoleon.
Do not read this book, if you expect a work of fiction.
Do not read this book, if you don’t know any Spanish.
Do not read this book, if you know nothing of Spanish and French geography.
Do not read this book, if you are an American patriot.
goodreads-note: Sometimes I’m not quite sure whose perspective this novel is told from. Some jumps are a bit confusing and random. It feels as if the author wasn’t quite sure which story she wanted to tell. That of Harry, that of the Light Division or that of Lord Wellington’s warfare.
I thought it would be Harry, but there are too many pages where neither he nor Juana are mentioned to be a story about him.
But, please, do read this book, if you believe me that, even with all this, you can still be transfixed with this book, if you want to be swept of your feet by the writing style, or just to convince yourself that you can read and love a book in which the things you expected just don’t happen.
Idea: 3 Stars
Characters: 3 Stars
Realization: 3 Stars
Writing Style: 5 Stars
General Rating: 4 Stars
Personal Rating: 2 Stars