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Swept Away (Regency Romance: Challenge of the Soul Book 0) Kindle Edition
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I loved this book. It was just a fun and whimsical take on the classic Cinderella story. I like that the roles were reversed, and the regency setting was delightful. The writing is nicely paced and charming. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep one guessing and references to the original story are subtly and perfectly woven in. The characters felt real and relatable. It’s a lovely novel.
All in all, Swept Away is a charming spin on Cinderella that any fan of Jane Austen and fairytales will enjoy.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
It was hard to get into, and then got interesting, and then it was done. Everything ended abruptly as if she had achieved the minimum number of words on her writing assignment. There wasn't enough of a plot, and what plot there was, was not richly developed, or believable enough even for a Cinderella story, especially at the end. There aren't any subplots, and very few supporting characters.
Her use of language, terms, and forms of address is uneven and at times, very surprising; and I, like another reviewer, had marked the passage "the gentle bleating of her beaded gown." Huh? Did I just read that correctly? Yep. I did. I would never have come up with bleating beads and I can't say that it makes any sense to me either, and I don't think you can blame Spellchecker or Autocorrect for it. As yet another reviewer stated, the Glossary contained words that largely did not need explanation. I think most people that read Regency romances know where England is and that London is the capital, and I really found that information insulting to my intelligence and education. There was a jpeg icon there with a caption indicating that maybe there should be a map of London-there wasn't, and I don't think there was enough of London in the book to warrant a map in the glossary.
This was recommended to me by BookBub, and if I paid the $2.99 that it is now selling for, I feel that I overpaid for the quality and length of the book and I hope that it was free or 99¢ max. I really can't recommend it.
As you can see, this story reverses the roles of Cinderella and her prince in some ways. Edwin does have stepbrothers that are quite undesirable, but has a very good relationship with his stepfather. Charlotte starts out spoiled and defensive, proudly determined to be completely independent and never allow a man to control her. In short, not very likable, and it was rather unclear why Edwin was attracted to her - except that she's beautiful. Edwin is very honorable and wealthy, but because he is not heir to a title, he feels unworthy to pursue Charlotte. His reluctance on that basis is understandable, but in some ways is inconsistent with the rest of his character.
Unfortunately, the quality of the writing seemed to diminish as I got further into the book. It appeared as though the author was trying much too hard to write creative descriptions, and much of the narrative was overdone and awkward at best. reminding me of a young child trying to use big words that they don't completely understand. I almost stopped reading completely when I came to a sentence that was apparently trying to describe the sound Charlotte's gown made as she walked - "the bleating of her beaded gown". What??? I don't even know what word she was looking for! Bleating is the sound sheep make and I can't imagine that a beaded gown would sound anything like that under any conditions. Several incorrect word usages were present as well, such as "fair" when "fare" would clearly be the correct word.
It started out well, but as I got further along the problems began to annoy me more.
Only the first eight chapters tell the story. Chapter Nine is an author's note. Chapter Ten is a Glossary, with less than twenty terms, and the definitions were quite unnecessary. Chapters Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen are excerpts from the author's other books. I was less than impressed with the book I had just finished, and not at all inclined to read anything else she had written.
This story had a lot of potential and was indeed a very interesting twist on the Cinderella tale. It's unfortunate that careless editing and awkward writing spoiled my enjoyment of this light romance.