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Alex and Eliza. This book is tough for me.
I’ll get this out of the way now– I did thoroughly enjoy this book. It was entertaining, compelling, and had, for the most part, authentic characters.
Alex was portrayed precisely as he should have been, a condescending ass with a soft spot for Eliza Schuyler. His sassy nature was undoubtedly part of his charm as he was never blatantly rude, only bothersome. There is a fine line between being annoying and being hurtful as a form of affection and De La Cruz was very careful to put Alex on the former side. By adding this playful nature, he was charming and precisely the right kind of challenging for Eliza Schuyler. Eliza was sort of disappointing. She kept her nose in the air and was very headstrong, but she was simultaneously 2 dimensional and lukewarm with every trait. The intention behind this, I understand is obligation vs desire and was explained through her flipping back and forth between affection and hatred for Alex. I get that and I wholeheartedly understand that especially with her being the eldest and notably least remarkable of the sisters, but that is no excuse to string someone along in the manner that she did. Once she finally let her feelings show, she was okay. Nothing too horrendous came of it, aside from their spat at the end. One particular character trait I couldn’t stand was her sense of validation she found in “not being like other girls.” She prided herself on being nothing like the women around her including her very own sisters, which is fine, but belittling other women in the process? Not cool. Peggy and Angelica were much more enjoyable. Peggy was actually my favorite of the girls as she was the most realistically portrayed. The annoying little sister, scheming to better her bitter older sister’s life? VERY ACCURATE NO MATTER THE TIME PERIOD. The fact that she was in constant cahoots with Alex was adorable and frankly, made Peggy the most well developed Schuyler.
I appreciated the setting and the explanations; however, I did not love the in-depth history lesson featured at the beginning of the novel. Yes, explanations are necessary, especially in historical fiction, however, there are better ways to explain than putting large paragraphs that solely consist of regurgitated information in the middle of the exposition.
Overall, the novel was solid and non-regrettable, but I would not reread, nor would I continue with the series.