ARC Review: Trapped at the Altar by Jane Feather

Format: E-booktrappedatthealtar
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Trapped, #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Ivor Chalfont
Heroine: Ariadne Daunt
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 22, 2014
Started On: November 2, 2014
Finished On: November 5, 2014

Trapped at the Altar by Jane Feather is her debut novel in the Trapped series which turns out to be my very first experience of her writing as well. The premise of this story was an interesting one. Ivor Chalfont and Ariadne Daunt had grown up together, childhood friends, their entwined fate as husband and wife decided when they were merely children. When the time of reckoning had come, Ariadne had been in love with another, so totally not ready to give herself up to Ivor who seemed perfectly at home with what is expected of him.

What could have turned out to be a delicious read somehow headed astray right from the very beginning. Jane Feather’s writing style is not one that is difficult to follow. But turns out, I had a problem with connecting to either Ivor or Ariadne. There were moments in the story where I though I might be able to fall in love with Ivor which turned out to be a couple of false alarms. If you ask me, Ivor was the lesser of the two evils where the two protagonists of the story are concerned.

Ariadne was in love with another man which was fine by me. She was reluctant to enter into a forced marriage which was yet again fine by me. And Ariadne giving up her virginity to the man she had supposedly been in love with was also fine with me. What I wasn’t fine with was the deception she lived under up till everything just pretty much exploded in her face. I felt that Ariadne was just a little bit too spoiled and selfish, and I guess rightfully so when she herself admitted to the fact towards the end of the story. Ariadne has this habit of thinking of just herself and though there forges this connection between Ivor and herself as man and wife, she has a hard time putting her trust in him and letting him know how she feels about certain things related to their marriage.

Ivor was the character I felt that could have turned the story around for the better. Ivor had everything going for him which Ariadne’s lover did not. He had the body, the charm and the sexual knowledge to seduce his wife into loving him and I don’t believe that Ivor lived up to his potential in that aspect. There is this aloofness about him or I should say a stiffness about him that seems almost unyielding. For two people who had known each other and practically grown up together as confidantes and best of friends, I had a hard time envisioning that connection between them. There were scenes where that connection seemed to materialize and then something would happen and it just went poof in the air. Somehow, I wanted more from both Ivor and Ariadne and I never got that.

The whole aspect of Ivor and Ariadne’s forced nuptials is based on both Ivor and Ariadne’s family getting their reputation back at the King’s court. There was an uninteresting storyline about Catholics and Protestants which I couldn’t get into and towards the end, a vague sense of unfinished business that lingered on regarding this particular storyline even when the book ended. I believe that the next couple of books in the series would follow that line of story to the end? But frankly I would have to say that I am just not that interested enough to find out more.

Recommended, if you are a fan of Jane Feather.

Final Verdict: Jane Feather pens a mediocre start to the Trapped series with Trapped at the Altar.

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