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Books Read in 2018: ‘The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn’ by Mia Marlowe (3.5 stars) | #amreading #bookreview

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn (Order of the M.U.S.E. #3)
by Mia Marlowe
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance (Regency)
My rating: 3.5 stars

Book Summary:
Meg Anthony was never raised a lady. Instead, she grew up amongst grifters who used her unique “finding” ability for their own selfish purposes. Recently, she’s been taken under the wing of the Duke of Camden and the Order of M.U.S.E., learning not only the fine art of becoming a lady, but how to use her extraordinary talent to help others.

But Meg’s gift is a beacon to unsavory characters who would possess her.

Charged with her protection, Lord Badewyn knows—too well—that his wild, Welsh castle is no safe haven for this lovely, all-too-desirable creature. Part human, part fallen angel, he is one of the Nephilim. He is a recluse sworn never to love. As the dangers to Meg grow more threatening, he cannot help but find himself tempted beyond all reason…and tested to see if he has both a heart and a soul.

My GR Status Update(s):

  • February 20, 2017 – Shelved as: sounds-interesting, hist-19th-c-1800-1820s, historical-romance, paranormal-romance, sequels-to-read
  • March 10, 2018 – Started Reading
  • March 10, 2018 – Shelved as: books-read-in-2018
  • March 18, 2018 – 66.0%
    HIM: “We must flee urgently!”
    HER: Thinks circular, inane thoughts for a few pages. “Oh, okay, if you insist, because you’re hot and I have no other motivation than that.”
    HIM: “We’re fleeing urgently, but must stop to rest incognito at this inn.”
    THEM: “Let’s bring the action to a dead stop and have sex (with lots of thinking of thoughts) for twenty pages.”
  • March 21, 2018 – Finished Reading

My Review:
3.5 stars

This is the weakest story in the series so far . . . mainly because there is little plot (no supernatural McGuffin to drive the action/conflict of the plot outside of the relationship development)—and because Meg goes from a character with no motivation to a TSTL character and Samuel just isn’t all that interesting. Which is ironic, given that in the author’s note, Marlowe says these two are her favorite characters in the series.

The lack of a McGuffin/supernatural object creating a ticking clock and tension for the story meant that far too much of the narrative ended up wallowing in self-reflection and repetitive thought-thinking for far too much of the story. There’s a great novella in this novel, which I might have enjoyed a lot more.

The best parts of this book were the scenes from Camden’s POV, but even with as brief as those scenes were, those could still have been included in a Meg-and-Samuel novella without making it too long.

Proceed with caution, spoilers ahead!

Then . . . ***sigh*** . . . the “big conflict” scene at the end. The fight scene between Samuel and Grigori was just getting good and interesting and had me completely buying into it when he turned into a dragon when . . . wah-wah, “Oh, it’s true love. Of course I won’t kill you.” There’s something to be said for antagonists who are redeemable being redeemed at the end of a book. But Grigori had NO REDEEMING QUALITIES. I understand that he was needed in order to set up what I’m assuming is a future book for Paschal, since Paschal needed a keeper/companion to keep his deadly power in check. But this was such a cop out.

As a writer, this was a good reminder to me of lessons I learned along the way with some of my favorite characters—they’re so much harder to write as a main focus of a story because the author doesn’t want to “be mean” to them and put them in hurtful, difficult situations. And, to me, that’s what happened here. Marlowe loved these characters too much to throw an appropriate amount of conflict into the story—and also not to get mired down so much in their internal narratives instead of making the book more about external conflicts and action. And it’s a rare romance novel I’d say that about, as I usually want as much relationship building as I do external plot/story building.

Now, all that said, I really hope this series isn’t just a trilogy (though given how long it’s been since this book was published and the resolution of the Camden/Vesta storyline, I have a feeling there will be no more Order of the MUSE books).

My rating matrix:
5 STARS = one of the best I’ve ever read
4 STARS = a great read, highly recommended
3 STARS = it was okay
2 STARS = I didn’t enjoy it all that much, not recommended
1 STAR = DNF (did not finish)

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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