1586 – London, England. Sixteen-year-old Mercy Hart is the daughter of one of London’s richest – and strictest – cloth merchants. Kit Turner is an actor and the illegitimate son of the late Earl of Dorset. A chance encounter finds Kit falling for the beautiful Mercy’s charms, but their love is forbidden. A merchant’s daughter and a vagabond – it simply cannot be. If Mercy chooses Kit she must renounce her family name and leave her home. Will she favour duty over true love, or will she give Kit his heart’s desire?
Thanks to Random House for this ARC! This title is now available!
When people tell me they have some YA historical fiction for me, I instantly jump for it every time. Sadly, a lot of the YA hisfic romance that I read falls into way too many romantic clichés for me to be happy. This one was no different.
The main character of this story is a young girl named Mercy Hart, who is as innocent as a child when it comes to the ways of romance. Her love interest is Kit Turner, an actor with some roguish ways, who also happens to be the illegitimate son of an earl so he isn’t entirely without money. Together, they create one of the most basic love pairings in literature. As characters, they were also pretty two-dimensional—as were many of the others. The only character I really enjoyed reading about was Mercy’s crazy grandmother, whose hilarity just made me so happy.
The treason Kit gets mixed up in was possibly the only reason I knew which time period we were looking at. Because I’m a nerd, the second the character of Babington was introduced I knew that we were dealing with the time in which people were concocting a plot to put Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne instead of Queen Elizabeth I. Aside from that, the historical setting was just used as a basic backdrop, which I’m still trying to decide if I liked or not.
The plot was fairly simple and never left me guessing. Innocent girl meets roguish guy, they fall in love despite their differences, guy gets arrested for treason and their love is tested … I bet you could finish it from here. I liked this book well enough on the basis of what it was: another hisfic romance. If you want to add another like title to your shelf, then this one is cute enough for me to recommend it. (You don’t have to buy the first two books to read it! It’s connected, but a standalone.) If you’re looking for something new and exciting in the genre, I would look elsewhere.