21 May, 2017

A #Review of The Baron's Quest by Elizabeth Rose

Book One of Three

Pages -  257
Publisher -  RoseScribe Media Inc.
Published -  July 28, 2015
Sold by -  Amazon Digital Services LLC
Series -  Barons of the Cinque Ports 1-3
Genre -  Historical Romance, Medieval
Narrative -  3rd Person
Sexual Content -  4/5
Language -  1/5

Nicholas Vaughn is Lord of New Romney and also a Baron of the Cinque Ports. He directs a fleet of ships that service the king 15 days a year in exchange for special privileges.
When Muriel Draper causes havoc on his wharf, he realizes she is a spinster - a woman who spins wool for a living - from the town. Her late father has angered the Clothmaker's Guild and now Muriel and her brother have been excommunicated from the guild and also left with a debt to the baron that he insists Muriel repays.
She can either give the baron her deceased mother's wedding ring - the only memory of her parents she has left - or she can live with him at his manor house and be his Personal Clothier to pay back the debt.
Can a merchant's daughter and a Baron of the Cinque Ports find a safe harbor with the passion that burns between them, or will title and status sink that ship before it's even sailed? 

Well, let me begin by admitting that this was one of those free offers for a limited time at Amazon.

However, despite the 'free' being a red flag to any savvy Romance reader, the author also happens to be Award-Winning, which should say something as well... right?

What started out interesting, and set in a time period seldom written about in this genre, the story quickly deteriorated (around Chapter 7) and became so abysmal that I wanted to DNF but didn't.

Aside from her possibly having Wikipedia'd The Cinque Ports, weaving, and clothing for research purposes, the author didn't even attempt to make the two leads come alive in Medieval England.

Instead, we're subjected to two modern-day Contemporary people plunked down in 1300's England and behaving as if they had time-traveled but gotten very used to the idea prior to the story's beginning.

Why does anyone think this is acceptable?

To me, it is insulting.

Maybe I'm a tad more sensitive than most, but it seems beside the point when you are TOLD you'll be reading about two people living in the Middle Ages but actually read what isn't even remotely close.

At all.

Well, there were a few M'Lords and Aye's and I think I read an anon? But, that could have been another type-o.

Yes, sad to say the editing/proofreading proved sorely lacking as well.

The Look Inside part was cleaned up nicely, but when it ended, so did the editing and author care.

It became more of a high school or lower level work that I cannot help but compare to someone on the uneducated side, and who has no business attempting to 'write' for a living if they don't even have a grasp of the basics.

I know a novel is bad when neither lead appeals to me, and this was the case with The Baron's Quest.

Muriel was too modern, too forward for the time period, and in too desperate a situation for her age (mentality) and the era to be anything other than a doormat.

Nicholas was one-dimensional despite the author's many attempts to make me believe otherwise; telling me again and again how wonderful he was, how generous and forthright he behaved.

Nicholas 'said' a lot but often did the opposite while allowing others to say/do for him, which isn't my idea of an upstanding and noble Lord.

When it came right down to it, he constantly vacillated between modern-day Dude and Medieval Alpha Lord... an odd combination of yuck in both aspects.

It just didn't 'read' well, and with far more explanation via dialogue or the author's gleaned knowledge from whatever source she used, and hardly anything in the way of immersion or substance.

Even the aside characters who popped up now and again just didn't mean anything to me or the story, with the nobles bantering and the commoners cryptically exposing their inner turmoil but with nothing in the way of actual resolution.

Real Time became confusing as well.

I'm certain the entire story occurs in Six Weeks, yet near the ending, when a lot is happening at once, she expects me to believe Muriel can feel something that is physically impossible to feel, and that it is also possible to predict something so EARLY as to be mind-boggling if not psychic.

This is also another Romance(?) where the sex occurs within days followed closely by sudden, major feels, and with the expected emotional turmoil tossed in for added purpose.

Zero romance, zero getting-to-know-you, and zero hearts & flowers for my taste.

The Baron's Quest read more like a Word-Count endeavor than anything else, and to hell with how the words were spelled or put together in a sentence.

She had the annoying habit of repeating the same words in the same sentences in the same chapters and near the same words to be even more annoying -- yes, I did that on purpose... to be annoying, because repetition is annoying.

It's such a shame when I think how I felt at the start: liking it and wanting to go to bed early in order to read what comes next, and then it just stopped being enjoyable and turned into a hot mess instead.

The author has a lot of novels under her belt, and if you are still interested because none of what I just mentioned upsets, annoys, or turns you off, then you will want to check out the entire Barons of the Cinque Ports series.

At the end of the story, there was an excerpt for the next in this series and it reads precisely like the first novel -- modern, lackadaisical usage depicted in Medieval times.

I also have books 2 and 3 (which I purchased) and am very sorry about it but will likely read them anyway since they are on my Kindle and I'm not (yet) in the habit of deleting things there.

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