Author: Balogh, Mary
Series: Horsemen trilogy, Book 1 of 3
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Audible
Where do I even begin? I have been on a quest to find a romance novel that I could really get behind, but every time I try a title, I have usually been disappointed. This has not stopped me, however, so I continued trying.
I don’t know why I decided to purchase Indiscreet by Mary Balogh on Audible. I suppose I was getting bored by the extremely slow pace of Fellowship of the Ring, which I had been listening to, and wanted something light-hearted and frivolous. Indiscreet is also the first book of a series, The Horsemen trilogy, which is always a plus point to me.
Was Indiscreet disappointing? Yes and no. Yes, because it was pretty much submerged in every single trope and cliché of the genre. More alarmingly, it almost seemed anti-feminist in its way of handling certain issues like female consent. I have to admit I rolled my eyes tons along the way. But yet, it had to hold a certain kind of charm because I actually felt myself compelled to continue the story and to finish the book. Maybe I have a hardy stomach for some appalling anti-feminist ideas (“No” means “yes”). I can’t tell you why I managed to make my way through it, but if I find myself racing against myself to finish a book (mostly because I wanted to find out Catherine’s true background), I’ve got to give it some credit.
The Anatomist’s Wife is a period mystery semi-romance novel set in 1830, Scotland. The writing was all right, wasn’t tedious, though can sometimes be bogged down by superfluous descriptions or scenes that I scanned through and skipped over. The style of the narrative and dialogue were not particularly true to the era (I wouldn’t expect most contemporary novelists to be able to pull that off anyway). In a sense, I was almost thankful that Huber didn’t even try that hard to make the language more fitting for the time the story was set in. From what I’ve read so far, contemporary novelists who attempt that tend to fall flat on their faces and make it that much harder for me to digest the story. The characters were generally believable, most of them were not extremely in-depth or versatile, but they worked for what they were meant for. What’s more important was the mystery! It kept true to its word, with the plot firmly centering around the mystery instead of sidelining it in favour of pursuing romantic subplots which some novels may do. The mystery itself, though not difficult (I guessed the solution at around 45% of the book, though it might have to do with me reading so much Agatha Christie recently), was at least intriguing and engaging enough to press me forward to finish the novel.