I must admit that I have conflicting emotions regarding The Marquess’ Curse written by Jessie Bennett. I was quite intrigued by the synopsis of this story which held the potential to be a 5-star read. I did enjoy reading the story and was interested in the outcome. However, I did not fall in love with this story or its characters. Often a fast-paced read can be a wonderful thing, but I felt as if the story was too rushed. I would have enjoyed getting to know the characters better if the story line contained greater depth within each character’s emotions and backgrounds.
The concept that the handsome Marquess William was trying to mend his self-indulgent wrongs was honorable. This was especially true after reading chapter one where William faces the death of a barren wife whom he neglected. Right here in chapter one is a perfect example of how this story could have exploded into a 5-star read. It had everything – mystery, death, betrayal, etc. The mysterious cause of death caused so many theories to float around my head. I wasn’t satisfied with simply assuming her death was due to a weak heart. I wanted more! Not just facts either – I wanted the nitty-gritty. Relationships aren’t always pretty. I wanted a first-hand intimate glimpse into the pain William’s wife endured after being emotionally abandoned by her husband and the struggles for self-worth she felt after she, who could not have a child, learned of the illegitimate one he sired with his mistress. Even more than that, I wanted to experience the emotions that flowed through William when he realized just how damaging his wicked ways were. Destruction and despair – I needed to see that to become invested in William’s desire to become a better man. I never formed the connection that made me want to route for him.
The Marquess’ Curse had another twist which once again could have made a 5-star read. William decides that he should begin his life over again by setting sail on a ship to New Bedford, MA. While on the ship he encounters, Belle, a beautiful, soft-spoken princess. Of course, they are attracted to each other. And yes, a storm even brewed. When the princess, followed by her doctor, fell under a deep sleep illness, another mystery evolved. I knew the facts as to why she was slipped the herb but not anything sinister.
Overall, I’d recommend this book if you are looking for an entertaining read. The concept was brilliant and I’m so disappointed that I could not get emotionally involved. I felt rather distant from the action as I read. As a reader, I’m looking for an intimate connection with the characters. Nothing is better than to be so caught up in the outcome that I am transported into another place and time. I would be so happy if Ms. Bennett took this story and revised it. It she could simply delve deeper into these characters this book would be fantastic. I was given a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion. I am looking forward to reading other novels written by Ms. Jessie Bennett.