Review: A Perilous Passion by Elizabeth Keysian

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website
Miss Charlotte Allston is unwittingly ensnared in a sinister web of traitors and spies when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome stranger on the beach. Fiercely determined to redeem his honor after a humiliating military defeat, the Earl of Beckport is living incognito, hunting a band of smugglers at the center of a French plot to invade England.

The enigmatic Miss Allston instantly becomes a person of interest to the earl...and not just in the smuggling case. Passion flares swift and hot between the two. But when her attempts to help with his secret mission only endanger it, he must question where her loyalty truly lies.

Stunned by the sudden revelation that the woman he is falling for is the daughter of a notorious smuggler, Beckport feels duty-bound to report her. But then Charlotte is captured by the very traitor he's after, forcing the earl to decide between redemption...and love.

For some reason historical romances always tend to be hit or miss for me - they either fall into the "love" category or the "meh" category. Going into A Perilous Passion, however, I was getting incredibly good vibes. The characters were charming, the romance was strong, and the spy subplot was suspenseful. Unfortunately, the longer the book went on, the more it began to loose its steam. 

A Perilous Passion contains two point-of-views: Charlotte Allston and Rafe, the Earl of Beckport. 

Charlotte Allston is smart, slightly cunning, and unapologetic. She loves adventure and forbidden romance much to her mother's dismay. For the most part, I liked Charlotte. I loved how she was always getting into trouble, especially when Rafe was involved. I also admired that she wasn't afraid to go against her family's wishes, especially when it came to finding love. 

When Rafe is first introduced, he's under a pseudonym, as he's trying to redeem himself after an unfortunate sneezing incident by bringing down a smuggling ring. Rafe is the type of awkward that is so charming it's hard not to utterly love. His sneezing incident brought tears from my eyes because I was laughing so hard. I also loved his interactions with Charlotte - he tried so hard not to get wrapped up in her and her ideals but failed time and time again. 

The plot in A Perilous Passion revolved under Charlotte and Rafe's "forbidden" romance, Rafe's spying, and Charlotte's family's own troubles with the law. At stated above, I truly enjoyed all these story lines at first - I easily slid through the first 100 or so pages. After that mark, though, my interest began to dwindle. 

There were several reasons for this. For one, I didn't enjoy the introduction of Charlotte's former flame - he was annoying, whiny, and added nothing I found enjoyable to the story.  Additionally, towards the middle everything was going in circles without much advancement, and worse yet, I felt that some plot lines were just thrown right out the door (like Charlotte's aunt's friendship with the apothecary - what ever resulted from that?) or solved way too simply (i.e. Rafe's smuggling ring operation and Charlotte's family issues). Basically  I was left feeling underwhelmed and even a bit annoyed. It's always the worst when a book starts of good and then goes off the cliff. 

Overall, A Perilous Passion is a solid 3 star read - it has its pros as well as its cons. I feel like historical romance lovers may enjoy it; however, it doesn't top my list of recommendations. 

Grade: C+ 

A Perilous Passion is now out! 

Source: eARC provided by publicist

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  1. Aww sorry to hear this didn't work for you. I'm the same with HR. I'm very picky and tend to stick to the same HR authors. I get totally annoyed when the former flame gets introduced too, especially when they play no role.
    Great review, Lauren!

    Nick @ Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist

    1. Thanks, Nick! Glad I'm not the only one whose picky. Honestly, I think I may give up on historical romance for a while - all the ones I've read this year have been pretty meh.

  2. My luck is hit and miss with historical romances too. Sorry to hear this one wasn't a better read for you. Great review though!

    1. Thanks, Suzanne! It makes me feel better to hear that everyone seems to have this problem with HR :)


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