Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ARC REVIEW Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain

Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain is only my second book written by this author. I enjoyed this book, I liked that the characters were ordinary people not Lords and Ladies or people of great influence just the daughter of a vicar and a Royal Navy pensioned Lieutenant. What makes them extraordinary characters is Charlotte is an ex-courtesan and Benedict is blind. I also liked that despite the circumstances they weren't written as overly angsty people. The story was a little disjointed;  it went too long between the main and the secondary and third story lines you almost forget about the other. The romance between Charlotte and Benedict pretty much dominated the story leaving the mystery off to the side and then that gets blindsided by Charlotte's past rearing it's ugly head and finally get back to the initial mystery. But the active setting was very well written and the character establishment was well done and the conclusion was very nice.

The Royal Mint has been robbed, six trunks of newly minted gold sovereigns has been stolen all before they could enter into circulation. The reward is enough to set the fortune hunters and greedy alike in search for it. So far the only clue has been a single coin to show up in a Derbyshire inn. Everybody is looking for the Royal Reward.

Lieutenant Benedict Frost joined the Royal Navy at twelve years of age, and he stayed in the Navy for much of his life but four years prior he contracted a strange fever and lost his eye sight. He was then given the Naval Knight (Knights of Windsor which are basically retired military) and offered a pension. Benedict even after loosing his sight still traveled he wrote a memoir about his experiences as a blind man traveling. The money he was to earn with the sale of his book would have been given to his sister on her twenty-first birthday so she may have the means to support herself. But nobody wanted to sell his book as a memoir because who could believe that a blind mind could travel and experience what he has written. Determined to get the money to set up his sister he decides to try his hand at finding the royal reward.  

Charlotte Perry is a strong woman she knows what she wants and she's going to find the Royal Reward, thankfully she doesn't have to go far her father is the Vicar in the town where the only gold sovereign has appeared. Charlotte's plan is to find the gold get the reward and take her niece and live peacefully together. Charlotte is also running from her past, an abusive and overbearing former protector. In Charlotte's youth she made some bad decisions and she in turn became the notorious courtesan Charlotte Pearl. Now wanting a quiet life in the country with her niece her only hope is to find the royal reward.

Charlotte views Benedict as a rival for the gold at first but when a local girl gets murdered and Benedict is attacked they join forces to solve the murder and find the gold. The attraction between the two of them can not be denied but as a Naval Knight Benedict can not marry or else lose his pension which is the money he gives to his sister. Charlotte doesn't want to marry because she is ashamed of her past. But as Benedict and Charlotte fall in love and try to track down a murder the man Charlotte ran from appears in town. Now Charlotte must face her courtesan life and her vicar's daughter life finally coming face to face with each other.

Overall, I really did enjoy this one. I think one brilliant aspect was that Benedict was inspired by a real life blind man who wrote about his travels.            

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