Series: Storm and Silence, #1
Published by Robert Thier on March 19th 2016
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Freedom – that is what Lilly Linton wants most in life. Not marriage, not a brood of squalling brats, and certainly not love, thank you very much!But freedom is a rare commodity in 19th-century London, where girls are expected to spend their lives sitting at home, fully occupied with looking pretty. Lilly is at her wits’ end – until a chance encounter with a dark, dangerous and powerful stranger changes her life forever...
Enter the world of Mr Rikkard Ambrose, where the only rule is: Knowledge is power is time is money!
An accidental meeting gets Lilly Linton a job as a secretary to the richest and probably most miserly man in England. It’s the start of an adventure for a woman ahead of her time, as she’s pulled into the current of the very mysterious, the very obsessed and the very attractive Rikkard Ambrose, whose strange but icy ways taunt her as much as they turn her on. Much of the plot continues in this vein: a wilful, headstrong feminist who thinks she knows all that the world can offer pitching herself against a chauvinist of sorts (but no more than the usual behaviour of men in Victorian times).
This book has stumped me and stumped me good. Considering ‘Storm and Silence’ was initially written as a weekly serial on Wattpad, its wince-inducing length is no surprise but the cliffhanger is. How could a story numbering 700+ pages in my e-reader be so engagingly full of adventure and humour but so lacking in character depth?
In short, it’s a book that’s full of contradictions, equally worthy of the effusive praise it has received, yet deserving of the scepticism that others felt about it. I was as much charmed as I was frustrated by a story that is by far from a perfect read, yet has parts that do come close to perfection. Its numerous comedic moments – helped along by several anachronistic expressions and hollywood-like funnies – have given me hours of amusement, yet the unceasing levity makes it difficult to take any of the actions scenes and the characters seriously at times.
And as much as I loved Robert Thier’s imprinting the contemporary woman’s mindset on Lilly Linton, her gumption and determination to be by Ambrose’s side grated on my nerves as well, when her naïveté plunges her into TSTL territory when it becomes clear she is so out of her element but continues to insist otherwise. Distracting subplots that I wasn’t entirely too interested in contributed to its mind-boggling length; the lack of character growth and a slow, slow burn between Lilly and Ambrose that never even came close to resolving the build up of sexual tension frustrated me to no end. By the time I’d gone three-quarters of the way through, I wondered if there was even going to be a time when Lilly would admit that falling in love didn’t mean a compromise of her ideals, as much as I wondered if I was ever going to know more about Ambrose beyond his stony, granite demeanour and his unflappable mien despite my reading so much between the lines.
That said, ‘Storm and Silence’ is a breath of fresh air and seeing as the saga continues quite enthusiastically, I’m cautiously joining its ranks.