What a refreshing Historical Romance, Through The Smoke was. I was expecting the same old characters and outlines but this was different in a good way.
Rachael is not your traditional minors daughter. Like her mother she's smart, beautiful and caring for others. She spends her time at the family bookstore and also helping others to read. Rachel's mother is sick and the Earl comes to town wanting to know if Rachel's father had anything to do with his wife's murder by fire. Truman is the Earl, he's misunderstanding but he's also so used to seeing the world from his side of the blanket. The relationship between Truman and Rachel was some thing that had to build. It was a slow burn and that was so nice to read. Rachel is not trying to seduce Truman, no in fact she spends most of the book running from him because he's a different class than her.
This is part murder mystery where a lot of the characters seem to be on the wrong side for most of the book. I found all the characters confusing at times. The mystery was fun to solve and not to hard to figure out. The relationship was believable except for the class difference. I thought Novak wrote the towns reaction to Rachel's relationship with the earl very spot on.
In conclusion, this was my first book by Miss Novak and I was pleasantly surprised. I love historical romance but when you have a smart strong female lead it just makes for good reading. Paired with realistic side stories, that's just a lot of fun. I can't wait to read another book by this author.
ARC provided by Amazon Publishing via Negalley in exchange for an honest review.