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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

'You're smile lacks meaning.'

The Wicked Heir (Spare Heirs #3)  by Elizabeth Michels

'You're smile lacks meaning.'
And just like that Fallon St. James' life takes a different course.

I really liked St. James but struggled with Lady Isabelle Fairlyn. In someways she seemed too childlike for St. James. At moments I found it hard to relate to her. She seems so young with a head (and diary) full of a young woman's dreams. We're told her diary is full of swooping letters with 'silhouettes of flowers and swirls of ink fashioned into vines.' However there are moments when Isabelle is no shrinking violet. (And that's when I like her). She is searching for her true love. At about the age of sixteen she fixated on another Spare, Mr. Kelton Brice, as that person. Isabelle  is now three years older. To her Brice is the epitome of the perfect partner. She has plans for him!
His friend and fellow Spare, Fallon St James, just doesn't cut it. He's too serious and brooding  in appearance and manner. He doesn't smile and he can be quite off putting. But appearances can be deceptive and Isabelle discovers previously unlooked for depths in this gentleman she terms piratical.
St James is the leader of the Spare Heirs Society, a secretive organization that has influence spread in all sorts of places. He needs to focus on the Society and its various tentacles to ensure its profitability.
When Isabelle is threatened by Reginald Grapling, a man who has mysteriously escaped from prison; a man previously hunted and brought to justice by the Heirs, Fallon must act quickly to find him and at the same time protect Isabelle. Fallon may be trying to save Isabelle but who will save him from the powerful attractions he feels for her?
In the end their story is one of action, mystery and a reluctant romance.
Isabelle's twin sister Victoria has her own story, that plays out somewhat here. She seems to me to be a very interesting character. I am looking forward to her involvement with the Spares.

A NetGalley ARC

*** 1/2

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