My rating: 3 stars / I liked it
West Point History Comes Alive in this Warmhearted Romance
Trying to escape the shambles her con-man father has made of their reputation, Lucinda Curtis arrives in West Point, New York, determined to land a husband from the military academy. Campbell Conklin is first in his class and preparing to embark upon a storied career in the U.S. Army. Lucinda thinks Campbell will make the perfect husband . . . as long as he does not find out about her father.
Seth Westcott also has taken a liking to Lucinda. He's kind, smart . . . and working extremely hard to graduate last. Tradition states that the worst cadets are assigned to the cavalry out west. And west is where Seth must head to track the swindler who stole all of Seth's mother's money. Seth is smart enough to vie for the top spot, but life isn't fair and this is his chance to catch the man who ruined his family. It's too bad Campbell is all shine and no substance, but Lucinda will surely see through all of that, won't she?
I enjoyed this book for the most part. The setting of West Point Academy was definitely a new one for me, and I appreciated the sense of place and time and culture that the author successfully portrayed. I did skim through some of the physical descriptions of the location that were a little drawn out. The unusual pairing of characters was fun- Lucinda who is trying to leave behind her con-artist past and live a new respectable life, and Seth who is attempting to shed his golden reputation and habits that took him to the top of his class in an ill thought out plan to rescue his sister. They bonded over a brief conversation but the friendship fizzled out when their goals obviously were in different places. The story seemed a bit predictable and I got impatient with the slow pace of the novel until some unexpected twists quickened the plot and my interest was held through the climax and the remainder of the story. There are great secondary characters that I would have liked more depth to- Lucinda's blind cousin Phoebe and Seth's delinquent compatriots. After the story there is an afterword by the author with more insight to West Point's history and I appreciated the context.
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)