An Uncovered Betrayal
When his family abandoned him at Eton, Benedict Hastings found an unexpected ally in his best friend’s sister. Her letters kept him going— until the day he had to leave everything behind. Years later, Benedict has seen his share of betrayal, but when treachery hits close to home, he turns to his old friend for safe haven…
An Unwanted Attraction
After five torturous years on the marriage circuit, Lady Evelyn Moore is finally free to live her life as she wishes. So when her brother shows up with a dashing stranger, she finds herself torn between her dreams…and newfound desires.
An Unstoppable Intrigue
Despite his determination to keep Evie at a distance, Benedict cannot deny the attraction that began with a secret correspondence. Yet as they begin to discover each other, the dangers of Benedict’s world find them, threatening their lives, their love, and everything they thought they could never have…
*blurb taken from Goodreads*
I’m a big sucker for the friends to lover trope, and this book features the trope but with a twist. Evie and Benedict were great friends as youngsters, but they had never met face to face. As a child when writing to her brother Richard at his school, Evie got jealous of Richard’s new best friend, Hastings Benedict. Evie sent a letter to Hastings telling him to kindly leave her brother alone as she was his best friend. This was such a cute beginning and I loved the letters between the two. From there, Benedict and Evie became pen pals until one day, Benedict broke off contact with Evie with a cruel letter.
Years have passed by and Benedict has been off working as a Spy for the country. He’s got himself into a spot of bother, and goes to see his best friend, Richard. Benedict is surprised to see that the family is in residence, and he finally gets to meet Evie. But he’s kept his identity secret, and he’s asked Richard to keep it that way. So Evie is unaware that he’s her childhood friend.
I loved the beginning of the book which was super cute with Evie’s letters. It was charming and it almost had a Julia Quinn vibe. Unfortunately, when the story turns to present time, my initial enjoyment of the book petered off. Evie comes off as too immature for my liking, and there’s not much tension between Benedict and Evie. The story becomes a little boring with Benedict and Evie both making moon eyes at one another whilst the other is not looking. It stays like that for quite sometime, and there were too many contrivances keeping the secret of who Benedict really is, like Evie shouting down her sister when she’s about to tell Evie who Benedict is.
Evie as a heroine came off as too annoying for my liking. The only interesting aspect of her was that she wanted to run the stable business with her Father and avoid the marriage mart. Her emotions were swinging back and forth and it became quite annoying. When you find out the real reason of why she’s avoided the marriage mart, it was incredibly immature. One minute she hated Benedict, the next she forgave him, then she ended up hating him and she hopes she NEVER sees him again, but then she’s sad that she called him a coward. And then there’s the injury that Evie sustained at the hands of the villain, and there were instances that had me scratching my head where she goes off and rides after Benedict for hours despite having a dislocated shoulder and being in a sling. The whole big secret of what Evie did after that letter Benedict sent to her was so underwhelming. Evie was pretty much an adolescent in in an adult body. Everything was O.M.G dramatized, including Richard when he finds out Benedict’s real reason for being there.
Benedict was OK as a hero, but he wasn’t a very good spy. In fact the whole spy business was so weak that it was nonexistent until the last pages where everything happens and the baddie is defeated and Evie forgives Benedict and they all live happily ever after.
The book started off strong but by the end I struggled hard to finish the book. I found More Than A Stranger to be a book that features an immature heroine, a weak external plot, and an average romance that left me feeling very meh. I’m teetering towards a C- and D+, but because of the beginning which I enjoyed, C- it will be.