A Suitable Affair is the debut novel by Erica Taylor, and it features a likeable heroine, a charming hero and a really rather clever plot with a twist it took me a while to figure out.
Sounds great, huh? Yeah... it's also really, really confusing. The heroine is the younger sister of a Duke who has recently got married after a courtship alluded to multiple times in the book as being dramatic and unconventional. I was absolutely, utterly convinced that Andrew and Clara were the subjects of an earlier book in 'The Macalisters'. Indeed, I enjoyed A Suitable Affair enough that I was considering purchasing that other book for myself.
See the first paragraph above and the phrase debut novel. There IS no earlier book in the series, and this means that, in fact, we have basically been dropped into the middle of something with already established characters, but with no way to know about them. I was reading this under the assumption that existing fans of the series would know exactly what was going on and be thoroughly enjoying seeing the stars of an earlier book feature again. But no. That's not what is going on here.
And that means that the editing of this book is a LOT worse than I thought. There were quite a number of mistakes, which since I received an ARC from NetGalley, I was going to assume would be corrected in the final edition. Mistakes like 'honesty' instead of 'honestly', 'softy' instead of 'softly', 'swamed' instead of 'swarmed' and 'persuing' instead of 'pursuing' - seriously a spellchecker should have caught THOSE. That's basic proofreading.
The muddle of existing characters with alluded-to interesting backstory is the job of a content editor, and it seems apparent that neither a competent content editor NOR a competent proofreader have been employed to finalise this book.
Which makes the Kindle price of $9.87 all the more shocking. That's just a fraction less than the PAPERBACK, and that's an appalling price strategy for an unknown author. It's a ripoff any way you look at it considering the relative production costs of paperbacks and ebooks; the Big 5 publishers have been employing this sort of strategy of late (and then complaining about falling ebook sales) but it's madness for a small press and a debut novel.
Erica Taylor, you are a really talented author with a knack for creating intriguing characters and fascinating plots, but you need to get the heck away from Amberjack Press. They aren't doing your book justice with their editing and they're ripping off your potential readers with their pricing. Get out and find a reputable publisher or hire an editor and self-publish. You'll win a lot more fans taking either route.
Five stars for the story; one for the editing and the pricing strategy, which I'm afraid rounds out to three. It is what it is.
A Suitable Affair is available now, but dear Lord don't pay nearly $10 for it.
Disclaimer: I received this book for review through NetGalley.