Review of The Hellion’s Waltz by Olivia Waite
I’m a big fan of the Feminine Pursuits series and was excited to read this third installment. While I did like it, I’m sorry to say that it was by far my least favorite of the series. This was a pandemic book and while I give authors credit for being able to write during one, I do think this book was affected since it was missing that bit of magic that her other books have.
While this is a WLW, historic-fiction book, it is also what I call a “heist” book. One of the mains is a bit of a Robin Hood who is recruiting people to take down this villainous character so that women can have better workers’ rights. While I like these types of books, and I had fun seeing this particular plot unfold, I was not happy with the villain character. We are told over and over how horrible he is, but we never really experience his villainous ways. Instead of being really excited to see if these characters can pull off taking this bad guy down, I was more like, “okay, I guess we’ll see” because my excitement was so tempered. We needed some POV scenes experiencing the pain he caused and I think Waite missed out on a big opportunity to do that. There was a story, which took place in the past, that almost had a fable-like quality that we get sort of lazily told. Had Waite turned that story into a prologue, that we as readers could experience firsthand, she would have made me “hate” the bad guy and really care about his outcome, instead of feeling so-so.
This book is also a romance but that part is unfortunately too rushed for my personal tastes. I liked the two romances in the previous books so I was surprised to feel more of a disconnect here. We basically go from insta-lust to insta-love, and it surprised me but not in a good way. I did really like their physical chemistry, and I thought the sex scenes were well written, but I did not believe in deeper emotional chemistry and connection. Everything was just happening too fast. In the same way, Waite made a villain we are more “told’ about, she made a romance that we are more “told” about instead of actually experiencing.
While I have some pretty big complaints, this is still a Waite book. The writing is still good and I was hooked into the story enough that I read in one sitting. Unfortunately, this book just felt rushed and like maybe Waite was not into the characters as much as her previous books, and because of that I wasn’t either. In the end, I’m still glad I read this since I really like this series, but it just wasn’t Waite’s best. 3.25 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for a review.