The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



Professional Reader Reviews Published

One Step Behind by Brianna Labuskes

One Step Behind - Brianna Labuskes

The bespectacled country bumpkin with no fashion sense is the disguise Gemma Lancaster uses to traipse around ton unnoticed in order to discover who murdered her cousin. The only one who sees through the disguise is Lucas Stone, the infuriatingly handsome Earl of Winchester. The same man who finds Gemma in a gentleman's study one night. Since he's also searching for a villain, someone who's been blackmailing his sister, it makes perfect sense for the two to combine their forces in their pursuit of, as they come to believe, the same culprit.

And the easiest way for them to spend a lot of time together under the watchful, gossipy eyes of the ton is to claim to be affianced. But the fake engagement soon starts to become something more...

I chose this book simply based on the excerpt—the first chapter—on the author's website. And I must say the beginning of the story was quite promising. The premise was indeed quite promising.

Unfortunately, the story was soon bogged down with a mystery too many, a secondary romance that didn't take well with me, because I didn't much care about the chit, and unnecessary filler in the form of different issues dealing mostly with the MCs inner scars, and incessant parties, coach rides, strolls around parks, and chatter about finding the villain instead of concentrating on actually doing anything about it.

The main characters were nice, somewhere around the middle ground, actually, not really making any impressions, though I wouldn't call the characterization bland, and the villain was nicely insane, though the reveal of his identity was no surprise, since I deduced who it was from the second scene he appeared in. Once the initial "novelty" wore off, the whole story slowed down considerably (maybe it could've been shorter and the plot more condensed instead of stretched so far it became thin), and though some sort of predictability is expected, since the HEA between the MC is accepted in any romance, I didn't appreciate the predictability in the villain department. Though, I should give the story points for veering off the template hero-saves-the-damsel routine.