Devonshire (Richard and Rose Series #2)

Devonshire  - Lynne Connolly Richard and Rose are back, a few months after the events of Yorkshire and shortly before their upcoming wedding.Devonshire takes place at Rose's childhood home, which she shares with her brother James, a newly inherited earl, their other half-siblings, his wife and their children. It's a full house, but Connolly manages to weave them into the story enough to show a large, close family dynamic but not overwhelm with a confusing cast of characters. The major players in this drama remain Richard and his twin Gervase and Rose and her sister Lizzie.Like the previous novel, Richard and Rose become involved in solving a mystery of sorts. Unlike that book, however, this time the suspense plot is a bit undeveloped and poorly tied in with their relationship growth. I felt the suspense arc and relationship arc were isolated from each other, with their own contained patterns of tension and release, making the book rather disjointed. Sometimes the focus was on the romance, sometimes it was on the smuggling drama, and there was rarely any sort of connection between the switches.There was also a lack of suspense, really. We were not given a cast of characters from which to guess at being the guilty party. We are instead just dragged along the sub-plot as non-participatory observers. It all just sort of unfolds, with the climactic ending feeling just sort of cold-blooded on Richard's part.I did still enjoy Connolly's voice and attention to setting and period. It's narrated in the first person from Rose's point of view and she's a wonderful character. She's sensible, fair, self-effacing without being whiny, and observant. Through her eyes and ears I felt I was walking through Georgian Devonshire personally. Despite the first person narration, Richard is a fully-fleshed characters and is easily understood through his words and deeds.Though I found the plots poorly integrated, the romance is a joy to read. Richard and Rose are clearly devoted to and in love with each other. I'll continue with the series, even if it's just for more of those two lovebirds.