Unraveled by Courtney Milan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
holy, holy crap. starting out the New Year with a 5 star book rating when I am so stingy with 5 star book ratings? never say so! it is, in fact, SO. I loved this story. I've said it before & I will repeat it endlessly ad nauseum, Courtney Milan writes some of the most fantastic historicals I've ever read.
I might add that I was "raised" on historicals. they were the first romance novels that I read, going to Kaltreider Library at the age of 13 & checking out towering, 20 book high stacks of them from the ever patient librarians who were kind enough to give me paper grocery bags to put them in so I wouldn't have to make 10 trips out to Mom's car.
I also thank them for not weeping blood tears when I returned a week or two later, having devoured every book & looking to check out 20 odd more. I'll remind you this was in the days when each book's card had to be hand-stamped by the big, heavy date machine (remove card from book, stamp card, return card to book. none of this scanning the barcode nonsense like they have today ;) if only I'd dedicated all that reading time to my school/homework (I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING! although, I do wish I'd applied myself more in school =P) I digress....
I was fascinated by Smite in the previous Turner novels & was so looking forward to his story. I was NOT disappointed. he is layered & interesting & noble & difficult & frustrating as hell. I adore him. Miranda is equally incredible. she is unapologetic, funny, smart, delightfully sharp & the perfect match for Smite. it's rare for me to find a heroine that doesn't have some quality that annoys me (however small.)
I absolutely love that Miranda was not TSTL (too stupid to live), that she admitted she had a problem she couldn't solve on her own & actually involved Smite in the resolution of the problem. (there is absolutely nothing wrong with a strong, independent female lead, however, there IS a problem when said strong, independent female lead is not intelligent enough to realize that she requires outside assistance. I find this TSTL trait in heroines to be infuriating! even I, as a stubborn, sarcastic, bossy individual know that sometimes you just have to call in reinforcements. this is NOT a sign of weakness. sorry, soapbox rant over.) other authors take note! this in NO WAY affected the storyline in a detrimental fashion! on the contrary, it only strengthened the bond between Miranda & Smite and made me love them even more.
the details of the book are amazing, from the court proceedings (which honestly I have less than zero interest in on even a good day, yet I was interested here), to the smells, sights & surroundings of Bristol's good & slightly less appealing neighborhoods, to Smite's love for & marginally dysfunctional relationships with his brothers. I found myself completely consumed.
Bravo, Ms. Milan! this is your best book yet.
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