It has been a LONG time since I have read a Catherine Coulter book, so I was very excited to find out that she has FINALY written (note: not REWRITTEN) a historical and I was so lucky to snag an Early Reviewers copy (from LibraryThing)! The book arrived and I just could not wait to start. The cover photo was great! Now all it needs is for the book to be as well, right? To start, I must state that I respected the author and I loved her historical romance books (note: PAST tense). I am not a fan of contemporary romance, or thriller so I’ve never read her FBI series. I KNEW her historical books, and this review is based on the “uncorrected proof” that was provided by Putnam Books. I will NOT go into the summary of the story as you can read it for yourself. Now, I wanted to like this book, I really did. That said I cannot believe this got published. This, to me, reads as a rough draft of a book, and even as such, it needs a LOT more work to make it anywhere near interesting, much less believable. It is very slow paced; it took too long for the conflict to get resolved, and it was totally predictable. Oh, and the dialog!!! It was just awful, boring, bland and unrealistic! The characterization is thin, silly and underdeveloped as well as totally ONE dimensional! Not one solid character or developed plot. Not one single enjoyable moment, character, or storyline! I’ve never read a book where the characters lacked so much personality and chemistry! As for the romance? What romance?! I so wanted to care for Garron and Merry, but I found them so boring, so bland, so one dimensional and plain silly! Try as I might, I really didn’t care for their story. The people, plot- totally unbelievable. Page after page, I just kept reading; shocked that such uninspired trash actually got published! How bad can it get, I kept asking myself? Guess what? It actually gets worse and worse, as you keep reading it. I had to debate whether to continue reading or just give up! I grew more angry, disgruntled as I plowed through. By the last page, I felt cheated! Am I to believe that Catherine Coulter wrote this book?! Did Ms. Coulter do any research in order to write this? Did she do ANYTHING in order to throw this mess my way? This is a disjointed story that left me confused, rolling my eyes in frustration, wondering how a veteran author could write this, and then allow such shabby work to be published? It cannot be just me! Catherine Coulter wrote this? Seriously!!!?? I am embarrassed for her! It is truly one of the worst books I have ever read and a huge insult to my intelligence. Actually, it’s quite possibly THE worst one. Totally, absolutely ridiculous!!!!! What a waste of paper, time and money! I think you should have more fun reading David Lee Roth’s “Crazy From the Heat”! To the reader who is reading this review, DO NOT read (dare I call it BOOK?)! I do NOT recommend it. PLEASE do not buy it! I honestly wish I could give zero stars for this book. If you absolutely MUST read it, get it from the library. This isn’t worth your hard earned money. And just so you know, I LOVED reading her Trilogies (Wyndham; Bride; Song), so I DO NOT HATE the woman, I just think she got sloppy, lazy and she cared nothing about these characters.