A Perfect Plan is a story of Sam Hastings and her family’s tragic history. With her parents and brother murdered by an unknown assailant, she is forced to consider marriage. A thing she considers, as a strong feminist, most detestable. That is, until she meets Lord Benjamin Westwood. While their relationship unfolds, so too is the murder of her parents revealed, placing them all in danger.
The prologue sets the story up perfectly, introducing an intriguing murder mystery and setting the scene of 19th century England. Unfortunately, the rest of the book fails to deliver on the prologue’s promise.
The quality of writing is good throughout but it is the complexity of the plot and character inconsistencies that disappoint.
From the onset, Sam is portrayed as a strong heroine, well read, uninterested in marriage and a skilled fencer. Yet, she continually giggles, falls instantly in love and, as danger looms, rather than take the reins she becomes a typical damsel in distress.
The relationship between Sam and Benjamin is well portrayed, and is more erotica than Hollywood romance. There are some wonderfully written scenes that get the blood flowing.
His eyes traveled hungrily over her figure, highlighted by the movement of her dress. As she drew nearer he felt his loins tighten with anticipation. A surge of warmth spread through his entire body.
His lips promised worlds of wonder and ecstasy. “I think you would, Miss Hastings. I think you would enjoy it immensely. I know I would.”
One aspect of the writing that did start to grate on me was the unrealistic and overly dramatic use of expressions. People regularly seem to growl or literally throw their head back to bellow with laughter.
Benjamin physically bit his tongue until he tasted blood to prevent an ungentlemanly comment from slipping past his lips.
Benjamin threw his head back and laughed. He laughed a full five minutes before catching his breath.
The mystery aspect, so strongly hinted at during the prologue, is almost non-existent throughout most of the book. By the time things begin to heat up, and the murderer is revealed, the book comes to an abrupt end. What motives are revealed appear unconvincing and I can only hope that this is better delivered in the sequel.