Review: A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Juliana Gray

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Overall Score: 8/10

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance

Publisher: Berkley

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Source: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through NetGalley

Book Summary (From GoodReads)

As the personal secretary of the recently departed Duke of Olympia—and a woman of good character—Miss Emmeline Rose Truelove never expected to be steaming through the Mediterranean on a luxuriously appointed yacht under the watchful and jovial eye of one Lord Silverton. But here they are, as improper as it is, on a quest to find the duke’s heir, whereabouts unknown.

An expert on anachronisms, the adventurous Maximilian Haywood was last seen at an archaeological dig on the island of Crete. And when Truelove and Silverton disembark, they are met with incidents of a violent nature: a ransacked flat, a murdered government employee, an assassination attempt. And as they steam from port to port on Max’s trail, dodging danger at every turn, Truelove will discover the folly of her misconceptions—about the whims of the heart, the desires of men, and the nature of time itself…

Review

As soon as I saw the description for this book, I immediately wanted to read it. Greek mythology, historical fiction, mystery, AND a romance? Needless to say, I had pretty high expectations before I started this book. This book met them all and it proved to be a very fun read.

The story begins with Miss Emmeline Rose Truelove receiving a quest from her employer, the Duchess of Olympia, to go find the recently departed Duke’s heir so he can assume the duchy. I should point out that Miss Truelove is a pretty interesting character from the beginning because she can a) talk to ghosts and b) is a woman in what was considered a man’s role at that time. However, I could have done without the frequent mentions of her tendency to get incredibly sea sick.

Each chapter begins with an excerpt from a diary that was discovered in the prologue (which takes place in modern times). I quite enjoyed this aspect of the book because it added another layer to the story and challenged the reader’s perceptions about the story thus far. Combined with the glimpses into Truelove’s past, I found that the way the story was told served to increase the tension in the mystery and made me incredibly curious to find out more. It also set the stage for future books in the series quite well.

The story is a wild chase throughout Greece, from a hotel-room shoot-out to highly questionable interrogation techniques to sailing through a storm. The romantic tension between Truelove and Silverton was hilarious to watch. They challenged each other and throughout the journey, both of the characters developed in unexpected, yet understandable, ways.

This story was incredibly fun, with the rare combination of an utterly charming plot, a cast of unique characters, and an irreverent sense of humor. This is one of those books that manages to be fun and light without sacrificing depth. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy a light historical fiction with a touch of the supernatural. I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.