This book was one of those odd novel that was hard to put down, with a beginning half that outshone the second part.
It's not a romantic book, nor - surprisingly - an erotic one. You would think it would at least win erotic favors considering the storyline, yet the sexual scenes were abbreviated and brash, not erotic. There were some sweet connections, especially between Phyllida and Andrew, but hardly anything I'd call romantic. What won me with the book was the humor and creative verbal banter play between the two main characters. Funny lines, awkward scenarios, cute stuff.
For the second half, I'm not sure what went wrong. The author suddenly became more interested in exploring other side characters and their political manuevering, probably to give a deeper story and explain how the book page count is so high for the basic story it held. Matthew was a likeable character but I didn't see a bonding I wanted to. I just lost interest as the story began losing steam - never completely, but slowly started inflaming. The ending was supposed to be sweet but it seemed a little forced and not something I was completely happy with. The frustrating thing is I can't exactly put my finger on why it wasn't completely satisfying for me.
This book wins in that it's unique and creative with it's story, playful with the characters, but I'd like to have seem more genuineness later with developed emotion. Genuine erotic moments between all the characters would have been welcome. As it stands, it seemed a little too rushed and without enough realistic buildup.
I do wish at some point Phyllida would have left him and made him realize what he was losing. I also didn't care for some of the language Andrew used in the bedroom, such as calling as his lovers sluts.
I noted comments on how unrealistic things were - and yes, it is. This is a complete fantasy retelling where the author invented some stuff, true, but it is fiction so why this is an issue for some completely escapes me.
Overall I dug this story, don't regret reading it, and will remember it fondly when I glance at the cover on my shelves. I wish it kept the momentum the first half promised, but it stayed hard to put down.
“You think money can solve any problem, but all it s good for is buying the things it can, and leaving you free to pursue the things it can't.”