I’m going to be doing something a little different today, reviewing a trilogy of books in one review. The subject matter of the three novels and my thoughts on them were fairly similar, so in an effort to cut down on repetitive reviews my thoughts on all three are cohesively written (or so I hope) below. The three novels (in order) are A Question of Love, A Question of Trust, and A Question of Lust by Angeline Fortin. Each novel follows a different heroine that becomes involved with one of the famously handsome MacKintosh brothers.
So for the benefit of saving time I’m going to do a quick synopsis of all three books before I give you my thumbs up and down about each book. A Question of Love follows Evelyn, the daughter of a wealthy American business man who has recently been widowed after her British husband, The Earl of Shaftesbury, is lost at sea. Evelyn is happy that her husband is dead due to the oppressive control he has over her during their marriage. Her husband wanted/expected perfection from her, and cruelly drove away everything that made her special. The only way she’s able to survive this marriage, is to think on a handsome man named Francis MacKintosh that she met in her youth. Little does she know that she’s about to run into Francis at a friend’s home. Francis himself has severely changed as well, after a terrible marriage to a woman who openly cheated on him, and gave birth to a child that was not his. Will the two of them ever trust in love again, to see the second chance they’re being given?
A Question of Trust follows Kitty, the sister of Evelyn, our heroine in book one, as she escapes a physically abusive marriage from her American husband. She runs to Scotland where her sister is now living and is thrown into the path of Francis’s (also from book one) best friend Jack Merrill. Jack’s father and brother have spent the family earldom away, leaving Jack in a precarious situation. He must marry an heiress quickly if he has any hopes of saving his family’s name and properties. Jack sees Kitty as a possible wife due to the large fortune she is scheduled to inherit upon her father’s death. Kitty however has no wish to marry again after the physical abuses she underwent in her marriage. Kitty does find Jack appealing however and tells him that if he can hold out until her divorce is final, she will give him all the money he needs to pay off his debts if he will take her as his lover in return. Will Jack be able to control his feelings and accept Kitty’s proposal? Will Kitty be able to have a relationship with Jack that feels free?
A Question of Lust follows Moira MacKenzie, Kitty and Evelyn’s friend from finishing school, in her quest to find a husband. After seeing all of her friends happily married, she decides it’s time to put the past behind her and look to the future. Her problem is that she has loved Francis MacKintosh’s younger brother Vincent from a very young age. Unfortunately he and Moira’s brother were captured while they were in the army and never heard from again. After five years of waiting for news, she accepts the inevitable and tries to force her heart forward. She decides to let Evelyn sponsor her for a season in town, to see if her heart really is ready. It is during Christmas however that word reaches Francis that Vin has been found alive! Upon his return to Scotland with Francis, it becomes quickly apparent that Vin is but a shell of his former self. Suffering from severe depression and malnutrition among other things he doesn’t find comfort around anyone but Moira. Having always looked upon her as a little sister, he finds the feelings of sexual desire towards her confusing and loathes himself for looking at the sister of his best friend in that way. Will Moira be able to convince him that her love for him is strong enough to see him through this dark period of his life, or will his self loathing take him to a place so dark that there is little hope of ever escaping?
I have to give Fortin credit for writing about the darker side of arranged marriages in the 1800’s. I’m so used to reading about people who are unhappy about being forced into a marriage, only to find out that their spouse is the true love of their life. While there is nothing wrong with that approach, it was refreshing to read someone unafraid of tapping into the horrors that some women were forced to live with. A Question of Trust deals with mental and emotional abuses, A Question of Love deals with physical abuses, and A Question of Lust deals with issues relating to post traumatic stress disorder.
The stories themselves were intriguing and captivating. The execution, however, is what was lacking for me. All three novels could use a heavy dose of the red pen, with blatant spelling and grammatical errors flitting through them. I know that you get what you pay for, and at $0.99 per e-book I know I shouldn’t have expected the world, but it is still disheartening to see so many errors packed into a work that has so much potential.
Despite these errors, however, Fortin’s collective works are extremely detailed romances filled with conflicts and misunderstandings that make the end results more genuine and worthwhile. I’m not a fan of relationships that just happen, I like relationships that are built upon through varioous circumstances. The fresh take on marriages in the 1800’s really won me over enough in the end to look beyond the errors and purchase all three eBooks in the trilogy.
A Question of Love: 4 out of 5 Stars
A Question of Trust: 3 out of 5 Stars
A Question of Lust: 3 out of 5 Stars
A Question of Love by Angeline Fortin
My Personal Bubble LLC (2011)
eBook 1,203 pages
A Question of Trust by Angeline Fortin
My Personal Bubble LLC (2011)
eBook 1,534 pages
A Question of Lust by Angeline Fortin
My Personal Bubble LLC (2011)
eBook 1,126 pages