I really enjoyed the series and the story and character development. You jump right into the emotional turmoil, intrigue and action all at once. The tension between Luke and Arden was beautifully developed as well as the multiple layers well woven. I did find their hidden obstacle (the original marital discord) to be rather tedious as it seemed to belabor itself without any movement for a short while. Luckily, it wasn't enough to derail the pacing of the story much.
One thing that detracts from this series and this book is that the technology and philosophies are not in line with those of Victorian England. Even if you were to argue clandestine advancement, the technology mentioned is too advanced for the time period. Heck, it's too advanced for even our current time period but believable if it were to be post WW1 or WW2. She also doesn't spend much time world building. We are pretty much swimming in the thick of it figuring things out as we go along.
With that said, if you can overlook these glaring anachronistic issues, it is a very entertaining series. The characters really make it and I like Cross's books and storytelling and more than makes up for the extreme creative license that she takes.