This time out, I have Charlotte Mede's first historical romance, Explosive (Brava) to share with you. Gray Dalton, Marquess of Blackburn is on an official quest, and being 'captured' by Devon Caravelle fits right in with his plan. The hard part will be getting her to cooperate. Devon's personal mission is to find out who killed her father and made him appear to be a traitor to England, and she'll do anything to accomplish that. She may be innocent in some ways, but she's willing to sacrifice herself if it means achieving her goal. Working with Gray to decipher a code in Beethoven's Third Symphony is just one step along the way. But she hadn't counted on the sparks flying between them--nor had he, for that matter--or on the determination of the evil Frenchman who owns the copy of the symphony to have its contents all for his own purposes. It's just a matter of who gets to the explosive information first, and all are playing for keeps. I didn't find myself really empathizing with either of these protagonists, unfortunately, so this one was just okay for me. Gray is nicely complicated, with a tragic past that will appeal to readers. But Devon just didn't grab me and make me want to root for her as a great heroine does, even with her love for her late father driving her actions. There's plenty of sex here, if that's all you're looking for, and it's well-written. I just don't love this story. It has only earned three of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!