This is an Official Review by an Eye On Romance Official Reviewer
for In Pursuit of Miss Eliza Cynster: A Cynster Novel
Date of Review: 08/20/11
Despite the safeguards her family has put in place, Eliza Cynster is kidnapped right out from under their protection during an event in her family’s home. Waking up in a coach headed north into Scotland, Eliza soon realizes that the same people involved with the earlier kidnapping of her older sister must be responsible for her capture as well, and she quickly begins to think of how to outsmart them. Her options limited, Eliza does manage to catch the attention of one person as the coach speeds northward.
Jeremy Carling is an expert in ancient languages and documents, a scholar who spends most of this time sequestered in libraries and museums. Having spent most of his adulthood in that role, he has recently come to realize that he’s missing out on family life, and is wondering how to resolve that thorny issue when he passes Eliza’s coach. He’s vaguely familiar with Eliza, and recognizes that she was trying to signal him. He quickly organizes a rescue, but things don’t go as well as planned and soon Eliza and Jeremy are on their own trying to get back to England.
As Jeremy and Eliza travel, they encounter obstacle after obstacle, from physical limitations to bad guys hot on their trail. As they trek over mountains and ford rushing rivers, Eliza reevaluates who she is and what she is capable of, and realizes she’s not as delicate as she has always thought. The pair is pursued relentlessly as they try to make their way to safety, and Jeremy seems to excel at reading maps while driving a racing cart and horse through narrow, windy dirt paths. And once the couple does make it to safe ground, how will they deal with the implications of having spent so much time alone, clearly in violation of society’s strict boundaries for behavior?
A predictable and often uninspiring plot along with gaping holes in the story make In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster a tedious read at times. Jeremy and Eliza spend days trekking through the hills of England, yet when they finally reach their destination, they haven’t had time to talk and get to know each other. Love scenes are written in a pattern of short, repetitive bursts of sentences, likely meant to add a sense of urgency, but instead the structure takes away from the sensuality of the moment. The basic idea of the story is interesting and should make for good reading; unfortunately the book falls short of its potential.