Review- Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney

Title:  Shattered Rainbows

Genre:  Historical Romance/Adventure

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Publisher:  Signet, Penguin 1996/2000

Source: purchase

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from

captivating tale about a lady and an earl who are shocked when a harmless masquerade turns into a shattering vortex of danger and betrayal-and a fiercely passionate love.


The book description hardly gives you a clue so I will elaborate a bit.

Michael Kenyon, the younger son of the Duke of Ashburton, is an officer in the Peninsular War.  He is nursed back to health following battlefield injuries by Catherine Melbourne, wife of another officer at the battle.  They meet again in Belgium at the battle of Waterloo and again Catherine saves his life.  After the war Catherine seeks help from Michael but will their feelings for each other be thwarted by evil?

This novel is written in two parts, The Road to Hell Book 1 and The Road to Heaven Book 2.  The Road to Hell is a tour de force of gripping action, romance and adventure.  It tugs on the heartstrings and I was moved to tears in the first beginning pages. Ms Putney is so talented in her characterizations; I could visualize her characters as if they were in front of me, as if in a movie.  I could not wait until I found out how the plot would evolve in Book 2.

Book 2 was one level of disappointment after another.  There were so many fortunate coincidences and unbelievable developments I was questioning if the same author wrote this part.  It was totally over-the-top in drama.  The characters were acting in ways that seemed false to their nature.

In spite of the let down in the second part of this book this was still an interesting and enjoyable if frustrating read.  Mary Jo Putney is a talented author. I will definitely read more of her books.





Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Romance

7 responses to “Review- Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney

  1. Edyta

    Well, too bad the book didn’t work all the way through for you (I hate it when a book or a series all of the sudden does a 180). On the other hand, it was fun to read you and Mo exchange the comments as you were reading this one. Too bad I didn’t read it with you ladies, as now I don’t think I’ll be picking this one up. I just finished the 3rd of the game of Thrones. Oh boy…GRRM really doesn’t pamper his characters, but the book was simply unputdownable. I think I will do Milan’s short story for a change of pace and length. After that the 4th GoT.


  2. mo

    Dot, you have been much nicer than I would have been for this one 🙂 but I do understand your rating because part 1 was excellent. But oh boy, part 2 was just unbelievable. What happened?! That’s not to say MJ Putney can’t write because she can, but the plot of part 2 did not work. I didn’t end up finishing the book because I got to the point that I did not care what happened and preferred to think of them all angsty, I.e. book 1. I feel horrible saying that but it’s the truth.


    • Perhaps you are right, Mo, I was too generous in giving this a 3.5 but it was totally based on part 1. I’d rate part 1 a 5-star and part 2 a 2.5 (disappointing). I still can’t figure out how one half of the book could spiral so out of control. Hopefully in future reads of MJ Putney this won’t happen.
      P.S.- I found Lauren’s A SECRET LOVE at the used paperback store. I’m almost through it.


      • mo

        Oh, what are your thoughts on Secret Love so far? It’s been a while since I read it, but I do love the hate-to-love trope. Get what I mean by suspension of rational thought re the plot? 🙂 it still worked for me. Go figure.


        • My thoughts?….hm-m-m…I’m totally enthralled, it is the best next to DEVIL’S BRIDE. Since all romances require “suspension of rational thought” I’m not sure what you mean, maybe I’ll understand better when I’ve finished it. Prepare to hear me gush in the review (with the usual caveats and exceptions).


        • mo

          **possible spoilers**

          The whole storyline of her being veiled, him, not knowing, the shenanigans that ensue. I couldn’t rationally believe that she could get away with it, and that he would partake in it. It required a suspension of belief to be able to read it. With this book, because of their interactions outside, in their real lives, I could enjoy it for what it was. I just really enjoyed watching them realise their love for eachother. Plus I loved the ballroom scene when realisation hits him. LOVED IT!

          **end spoilers**

          On another note I just finished a short regency romance called The Weaver Takes a Wife. It was delightful. A mill owner marries a haughty Duke’s daughter. It’s written in the style of Georgette Heyer.


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