At the beginning, this book started strong and held the promise of a five star review but about half way through, the inconsistencies and crazy plot twists made it fall to a three star review. The novel does not feel seamless but rather as if the people writing it did not communicate.
I liked the plot of Archer being the Masked Marauder so he can give to the charities that helped the poor in honor of his mother. But, when the Masked Marauder holds up the Findlay coach, Brynn is much more spirited than at the ball later. Her character almost seems deflated. Brynn's character alternates from being too mature to acting like a tween having a pout.
Brynn is described as having all sorts of health ailments surrounding her lungs and heart, yet her brother secretly teaches her how to fence, ride bareback, and shoot?! When does he get to do that? And when does she get to ride bareback? Her mother is a helicopter parent.
Brynn's brother Graham and Archer were good friends when they were younger and now they hate each other. What happened? Both Graham and Archer mention that the other is a "known rake". Where is the evidence? Archer had a terrible childhood and now has to work to save the estate from his father's overindulging. He doesn't spend a lot of time in London.
Brynn and Graham and Archer and Eloise live on neighboring estates and they played together as children. Now, they seem quite distant and Brynn and Eloise haven't seen each other in years. If Brynn is riding bareback around the two estates, why isn't she stopping to see Eloise?
Then the thing that took the book from "I can ignore that. Reading is about escaping, not analyzing the plot to OMG! what just happened" was the plot revolving around Eloise. I was hoping that she was going to be the heroine in the second book picking up at the masked ball. Nope.
The only thing that did not happen was Brandt was found to be the heir of Archer's mother's uncle (the one they use the title for to make the donations).
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.