Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
Unveiling Love: Episode I by Vanessa Riley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
“Thank you. I like the light.”
“You have to do more than just like it. You have to seek it, fight for it to be in your life.”
As a barrister, Barrington Norton is serious about fighting for life, truth, and justice in court. But his wife, Amora, doubts that he may be as serious about working with her to save their tenuous union. Yet, her inability to fully recall a nightmarish incident in her past could undermine any efforts toward their marriage in Unveiling Love, a Regency suspense tale by author Vanessa Riley.
Yes, for the second time in recent history, this bookworm who doesn’t do serialized novels is reading a serialized novel. I do have the complete story, though, so perhaps the only difference here is my taking the opportunity to review it by episodes.
I think it can be easy for a contemporary writer to rely on the interesting manners, frills, and glamorous motifs of England’s Regency period and leave out the kind of deeper, human exploration that makes novels like Jane Austen’s so great. Hence, while a story may have Austen-like qualities on the “outside,” it can fall flat beneath its English frills.
Thus far, Unveiling Love is no such flat or flimsy story. I’m not comparing it to Austen’s work, as Barrington and Amora’s tale comes from a whole different kind of outlook and whatnot. And I did notice minor errors and inconsistencies in the writing.
But I also noticed the story’s layering, and the author’s poetic style that shines or pierces in places. I noticed the nuances in characters’ development and interaction. It annoyed me when Barrington and Amora would jump to drastic conclusions in their heads, but it wouldn’t make them suddenly jump out of character with melodramatic tantrums, as might have been the case in a flimsier story. No, the balance and tension between their thoughts and actions make them all the more believable.
Plus, of course (absolutely of course), I’m thrilled to be reading Regency romantic suspense with main characters of color. I don’t run into this kind of book every day. And this tale of passion, doubt, faith, and intrigue has me most curious to see if this husband and wife are indeed going to seek and fight for light.
Unveiling Love in all four episodes