This book is yet another historical romance whose historical accuracy rates
poorly. If that doesn't bother you, then the rest of the book is probably perfectly entertaining - a story of an illegitimate sculptor who, when working on a sculpture of the latest heiress (an American), finds her more interesting than he had expected. However, if
to you setting a book in a particular historical time means that it ought to be congruent with that time, Stroke of Genius disappoints. I couldn't separate my knowledge of behavior then with what
goes on in the story - meaning it all feels terribly inauthentic.
The romance between Crispin Hawke and Grace Makepeace also
comes across rather woodenly. Grace's 21st-century behavior with Crispin means that the romance progresses
far faster than might actually have occurred during that time, but the author
doesn't ever really show a genuine connection of minds between the two while
using some awkward plot devices, such as Grace being invited to a house party in the country,
with Crispin consequently being invited so that he can continue with the sculpture. Really? Would anyone apart from Grace's mother care that it would be delayed a week if Crispin didn't come?
The very end of the tale picks up a little as we learned more about Crispin's
family, too late. The impression gained from this book overall is a passable story set in the wrong historical era for the characters' behavior.