For the first half of this book I simply could not put it down. The plot was interesting, fast paced and filled with intriguing characters. But right around the middle of the book Willig seems to have completely lost her focus. The once sensible and well rounded characters somehow turned into sex crazed maniacs that made completely unfathomable decisions. I am not opposed to a little bit of smut in historical fiction, I fully admit to having gobbled up Diana Gabaldon, Jennifer Donnelly and Phillipa Gregory like candy. However those authors manage to construct stories that maintain their substance and provide characters that continue to have meaningful contributions to the plot beyond sex. Willig, however, goes from legitimate historical fiction to LITERALLY ripping bodices in a span of merely a few pages. For those who are into Harlequin type romances this is an excellent book for you but for those who like a little bit more substance in their historical fiction I would strongly recommend another book, perhaps even one by the above mentioned authors.