Lady Madeline Essex is the last of the unwed “ducklings” in her family—and by far the most outspoken. But when she boldly enters London’s most notorious gaming house in search of fodder for her novel, even her sharp tongue can’t save her from the horrible crime she stumbles upon there. As luck would have it, first on the scene is the last man she wants to see her vulnerable. The one man who could tempt her heart…
Christian Monteith, the new Earl of Gresham, isn’t much for card rooms and gaming hells. But as a favor to his former commanding officer, he’s investigating a gamester for espionage on the night that Maddie ventures in looking more enticing than he’s ever seen her. Suddenly, his feelings for his friend aren’t so friendly anymore. And when her curiosity brings the impetuous novelist to the attention of a madman, Christian will stop at nothing to protect her—from a sinister plot that is far more dangerous than any stolen kiss…
Review: This novel was a bit confusing for me. It’s a historical romance novel with modern attitudes. I found myself stopping in my reading to say “Huh?’ a couple of times and had to remember that this was a story that doesn’t take place in modern London.
Let me try to explain.
The heroine is Lady Maddie who is a novelist. She has no interest in the normal activities required of her by the ton. She is outspoken and brash. She doesn’t care much what the public thinks about her and she is protective of her brother, who has a gambling problem. She doesn’t take no for an answer and can be quite persuasive when needed.
Enter the Earl of Gresham. Christian is everything you want out of a romantic hero. He is sexy and romantic. He’s definitely a type A man who knows what he wants. He is willing to do anything to protect Maddie, both physically and emotionally.
While this story was well written and the overall storyline was great, the problems for me were in the details. I like a heroine who is strong and witty but the story should stay within the confines of the time period. For me, a woman of this time isn’t making out (and by making out I mean with flesh exposed) with a man on the balcony, steps away from an entire London party. She isn’t alone in the library, practically begging for the hero to make love to her on the desk – again, steps away from a different party full of Londoners. It seemed to be a modern attitude towards sex that maybe wasn’t an actual truth. For me, it was something that stuck with me throughout the entire story. Don’t get me wrong, I like sex in my romances…I just want it to stick to the time period.
The overall story is good. A murder mystery romance with a bit of humor. By the end of the book, you are happy with the outcome and you are left with a smile on your face.