It's the adventure of a lifetime when the notorious scoundrel, Lord Duran, is reunited with Lady Jessica, the woman he betrayed. Together they track down the whereabouts of a stolen Indian artifact in London. And it isn't long before they succumb to the reigning passion of a love long thought extinguished
I was hoping for so much with The Golden Leopard. It sounded like a mix of thrilling treasure hunt and passionate romance. But it only delivered on one of the two.
The treasure hunt aspect was brilliant, very well done. The Indian culture associated with the treasure was well incorporated into the story. The hunt was thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, that was the only positive aspect of the book.
Really, my problem with this book is one thing. I didn't connect with the characters at all. A good story line can only get you so far in a book. I have to be able to like the characters that are playing out that story if I'm going to like the book. And that didn't happen for me.
Jessie was the more tolerable of the two. But just barely. She was mean-spirited. I could understand why she wouldn't necessarily trust Duran since he left her without a word after their affair. But she took that a little too far. He's pleading for help, trying to save himself from an Indian leader's wrath, and she thinks the whole thing is a joke. Apparently, she though that whole journey was a made up excuse for his absence. I thought she was really stupid for thinking that. I understood her mistrust. But the way she held on to it, refusing to consider that perhaps that desperation on the man's face is real, really irritated me. She would literally joke about it, while Duran was frantic to find the leopard and save himself from an untimely death. You know when she finally believes him? When he is attacked by other people after the leopard. Then she finally wakes up and realizes how dumb she was being. After that, she was somewhat likable, but I was still chafing from her previous behavior and I couldn't like her.
Duran wasn't any better. How could I like a man who just leaves his lover without a word and doesn't feel even a twinge of regret. He spends a few years doing his best to forget her and the fact that he can't was apparently supposed to make me feel for him. But, that didn't happen for me. I still thought he was a jerk. And the nerve of him to ask for help from that woman he left was ridiculous. He was very charming but I couldn't forget that he just left the woman and never felt any guilt over it. Or the fact that he fully intended to do it again once he got the leopard. Again, towards the end, he got better. Once he got his head out of his butt and saw how much of a jerk he was being.
The ending was okay. It was happy, but, once again, I couldn't connect with the characters, or even particularly like them, so the happy ending didn't leave me with that sense of satisfaction. The Golden Leopard wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good for me at all. It was just okay.
To end this on a good note so I don't seem too mean, the writing was well done. This author is a talented writer. She was especially good at setting up the scenes with rich detail. So kudos to her.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!