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"Blessop's Wife" Review

I just finished "Blessop's Wife," which is an action romance set in Edward IV's reign, just as he dies and the underage Edward V's is taken to the tower. It follows the adventures of the Duke of Gloucester's spy, Andrew, and his girlfriend, Tyballis, and their friendly bunch of misfits that live at Andrew's house as they try to prevent Edward IV's poisoning.


Complaints:


Tyballis keeps getting kidnapped. The woman is incapable of going outside of a house without being snatched off the street. One time, the intruders actually come inside a house to catch her.

She does rescue herself three times, but the number of times she pulls the, "I know I am safer inside the house, but I am restless and so will roam" in order to facilitate kidnapping is wild.

Part of this is down to pacing. The first big rescue is about a third of the way through the book, and I checked the word count as it started. I had to stop and think hard about this. Like- what is this? How are you still going?


Tyballis is, reputedly, 19, but talks like a 13-year-old. Despite being a widow of an abusive man, or perhaps because of it, she just comes off as incredibly childlike. This impression is reinforced by her boyfriend calling her 'child.' Which...ew.


It is endlessly harped on that she is pretty and small, and Andrew is big and ugly. I'm not sure why we need so much of this. It genuinely makes me nervous about my protagonists Brynhild and Karl- where the woman is ugly and small, and the man is handsome and tall. I really hope I have managed to avoid the harping on about the size difference.


Andrew is a prick. A secretive prick who sometimes drove me crazy- like, you can just talk sometimes, my dude!

Probably the worst part was every time they talked about Elizabeth Woodville taking off with England's treasure, I remembered what would become of her boys. Then I would think, "You know what? Edward the III is about to murder your 12 and 9-year-old son, so you take that treasure, Liz. I'd do a whole lot more if someone was trying to snatch away my daughter and lock her in a tower."


Praise:


Andrew's relationship with Luke is interesting. The resentment and helplessness of Luke is a relatable mixture.


I did not see the household traitor coming at all. It was an absolute surprise which made sense afterwards.


The landscape porn was interesting. She had interesting things to say about puddles shimmering purple, and there was the right amount for the action. Lots of clothing descriptions too.


There are plenty of new and exciting ways of escaping locked dungeons, and the love triangle is neatly resolved by Andrew's first girlfriend moving on to Ralph.

In a lot of ways, the best part of this book was the side characters and their quirks.


Do I recommend this? Mmmm, do you like romance with more action and less steam? I have read more explicit romances, that is for sure. I appreciated the balance of battles and relationships but got a little annoyed at the third deep loving conversation between our protagonists. On the whole: sure. I kept turning the pages and wasn't skipping ahead.


This is a long read, so be warned if you do pick it up.



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