A Precious Jewel (The Ideal Wife #2) - Mary Balogh I'm giving this a 3+ stars ("I liked it") because, even though I think the story itself was unique, well-written, emotionally-gripping, and pretty much perfect for the characters it featured, I personally couldn't get much more excited than "I liked it" throughout the book. That said, two moments made me cry, so apparently I was invested enough in the story to feel that much. However, my overall feeling upon finishing it was "I liked it," but it was too angsty for my tastes. I should really know better, and I admit that this is my own fault for picking it up in the first place.

I note that the prostitute/mistress heroine is totally not my trope of choice by a long shot. I was surprised by how much sympathy I felt for Priss and her monstrously unfair life choices. She was a saint for bearing up so well under the circumstances. I initially was unsure if her gentle, saint-like qualities would translate into "doormat heroine," but yeah...in this book, I think she was exactly what Sir Gerald needed for a match.

Overall, the technical quality of the storytelling, writing, characterization, and emotional depth is excellent; in terms of personal satisfaction, though, I'm giving this book a 3+ stars rating. Objectively, though, I do recognize it merits a higher rating.