Originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/swept-away-by-a-kiss-by-katharine-ashe
On her way back home to England, Lady Valerie Monroe’s ship is attacked by pirates. Valerie is no fainting miss, but she is relieved that she is not alone in her imprisonment. A French priest has been taken prisoner alongside her, but something tells her that the priest is more than he seems…and she’s right.
Viscount Steven Ashford is no priest. He is, however, on a mission to bring down a notorious slave trader. Valerie is an unexpected complication to his mission, one that threatens to unmask him. Nevertheless, Steven is able to get Valerie to safety and continue on his assignment, regretting only that there can be no future between himself and the brave beauty. Yet, unbeknownst to the lady, Valerie’s part in Steven’s mission is not yet over. What will happen when Valerie learns of his true identity? And when meeting her as his true self, can Steven hold back from claiming the woman who has captured his heart?
Katharine Ashe blends adventure, intrigue, and romance in her dashing debut novel, Swept Away by a Kiss. Ms. Ashe certainly knows her history and that helps make the world of Swept Away by a Kiss shine. Yet while the backdrop was perfect, I hate to say that the characters didn’t come to life for me in the same way. I never felt connected to Steven and Valerie and because of this, I grew frustrated with the two steps forward, three steps back dance that was their relationship for most of the book. The secondary characters also never felt fully developed, which was a pity. If the characters had as much spark as the world around them, Swept Away by a Kiss would have truly been something to behold. Still, I give Ms. Ashe high marks for the three dimensionality she brought to Regency England and I look forward to seeing what she delivers next.