This book is well written and engaging. I didn't feel the need to drag myself through the pages to reach the end and it held my interest. The characters are well presented and I enjoyed reading about them and the adventures they got themselves into. The mystery of Alaina's parents murder, and reasons behind it, were quite compelling, as was the question of Tristan's nature, but several issues spoil this book, which I shall elucidate below.
The problems I have stem primarily from the world building and some aspects of the plot. This book is set at the height of the British Empire during the late Victorian period, yet this appears to have been set much earlier in the century. By this point in history, industry was booming throughout Britain. Trains and steam engines were widely used, yet there is no evidence in this book that these things exist. Granted people did still travel by carriage, but not for long journeys. The book feels as though it's set much earlier and this harms the narrative in many points as it doesn't feel set in the right time. In addition, the plot whilst engaging fell flat on several occasions. The mystery posed by Tristan isn't given a strong enough resolution and for all of Alaina's desire to discover who killed her family, she isn't very proactive about it. I know it's hard to write a proactive female character in this setting but she didn't do anything save get kidnapped.
This book is very enjoyable and quite engaging despite some pacing issues and the problems mentioned above. I feel if those wrinkles were ironed out, this would become a stunning read.