What the heck happened here!! I just didn't GET THIS STORY. AAAHHHHH. Sherry Thomas, I love you and you're amazing but I have NO IDEA WHAT I JUST READ.
Both H&h assume a "disguise" to navigate their complicated worlds but those disguises are almost permanent parts of their identities and occupy 95% of the book. In that other 5%, I didn't actually get a good picture of who these people are without those facades. And because I didn't really know them, I had a hard time rooting for them.
He: A Marquess who plays the part of Society's fool. He acts like a bumbling idiot so that no one suspects that he is secretly solving crimes. I can see why he would play a part for the world, but what I did not like was that he deceives his family too, particularly his brother. All this because the H is harboring a secret (incredibly childish) resentment against his brother for some ancient misunderstanding that could have been clarified with two seconds of proper communication.
She: A woman trapped by a cruel, sadistic uncle. She smiles to hide her pain. She needs an out and decides to trap the Marquess into marriage so she can escape with her aunt and he will keep them safe.
1) Here was my main issue with this story. The H was NOT hot. He was physically attractive, sure. But he spent his entire adult life pretending to have BRAIN DAMAGE. Acting stupid, even if it's pretending, is not a desirable feature in my book. Maybe, instead of pretending to be stupid in order to gain the confidences of people around him in order to solve crime, he could have spent some of those brain cells trying to figure out whether maybe there was a legitimate reason his brother (who by all accounts is a wonderful person) is keeping something from him.
2) ST is a super writer but the plot was just too absurd. There were some really strange and unnecessary plot twists at the end that just added further confusion to the already frantically discombobulated situation.
3) There was a little too much 'fairy-tale villain" in the uncle. He seemed to have no personality other than being this horrible person with severe psychosis.
4) They are physically attracted to one another but there is really no reason that I can see that they should really like each other. There was no build up, no basic foundation for a friendship or passion or anything. Apart from the fact they both put on a fake face for the world, they don't seem to have anything in common at all. Oh, they both want the treasure, so that's something else they have in common, I guess.