Expected Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Author’s Website: http://www.darcyburke.com/
My Source for This Book: Amazon.com
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Secrets & Scandals Series
Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone
Steam Level: Warm
Pet Peeves: Historical Hoyden Still Accepted By Society, Ending Too Tidy
Favorite Tropes: Historical Law Enforcement, Fish Out of Water
To set things right, she has to be very wrong…
Former constable Daniel Carlyle hasn’t the foggiest notion how to be a viscount. No one is more shocked than he when his father’s second cousin and his son die on the same day. When a prominent earl offers to guide Daniel through Society and the House of Lords, he’s grateful to have a champion. Things seem to be falling into place when he meets a lovely young woman he intends to make his viscountess. Until he catches her stealing from his mentor.
The moment Jocelyn Renwick glimpses her family’s stolen heirlooms in the possession of a wealthy earl, she demands their return. He dismissively insists they’ve been in his family for generations, and she privately vows to get them back at any cost. But the law-abiding Lord Carlyle foils her plans, and she reluctantly partners with him to solve the theft of her property. When they discover the earl is up to his ears in criminal acts, he threatens to link Daniel to his gang of thieves. Jocelyn must decide if justice for her family is worth risking a chance at love.
What Worked For Me:
- I loved Daniel. I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for law enforcement in historical novels, and even though Daniel is technically no longer a constable, old habits die hard, and it isn’t long before his old investigative ways make their way to the surface.
- I also enjoyed how refreshingly clear Daniel was about his blossoming feelings for Jocelyn. Perhaps that stemmed from his having been born and raised in the more “middle class” of the era rather than in the peerage that he inherited through the death of distant relatives, but it was enjoyable to see that he was interested from the start in courting and even settling down, rather than fighting his feelings of attraction and affection for Jocelyn.
- I also enjoyed the small mystery behind the theft of the jewels.
- Even though I didn’t find Jocelyn’s forwardness to be believable for the time period (more on that later), I can’t deny that I enjoyed the conflict caused by her own thievery. It was a nice foil for Daniel’s steadfast honor, as well as an interesting illustration of Jocelyn’s own impulsive character.
- I liked the circumstances behind Jocelyn’s being a paid companion. She wasn’t plain, she wasn’t ruined, she hadn’t grown up poor, and she wasn’t “on the shelf” — none of the things that we readers usually find in historical romance to explain why a woman isn’t having a season of her own when she and the hero meet, and it was really very refreshing.
- On a similar note, I enjoyed Daniel’s circumstances as well. His rise in station was explained well, an accompanied by sponsorship by a well-respected Earl, made it reasonable that he would be accepted into the lower levels of the ton and able to rub shoulders with other respectable members of society. He wasn’t bosom buddies with a bunch of dukes, nor were we expected to believe that he had a large number of society mamas trying to match their daughters with him, and I appreciated the realism.
- The chemistry was good, and I loved the conflict between Daniel’s sense of honor and his desire for Jocelyn. The little bit about “looking ravished” was a nice touch as well. 😉
- I also enjoyed many of the side characters, and look forward to reading Jagger’s book when it comes available.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- Unfortunately, speaking of realism, one thing that didn’t sit well with me was Jocelyn’s outrageously outspoken behavior and the fact that she was still accepted in society. Granted, the Earl wouldn’t have wanted to draw attention to himself and Jocelyn’s accusations against him, but even so, I would think that a word dropped into the right ear, and I would expect that she would find herself quickly out of a position.
- I didn’t really care for the ending, but as I sit here and try to write down why, I’m finding that I can’t quite put my finger on it. On one hand, some of the events seemed almost too convenient. On the other, I’m a bit disappointed that a few threads were left dangling (almost certainly to be picked up in the next book, as hinted at in the epilogue). All I know is that there was something about the ending that left me feeling a bit dissatisfied, and unfortunately I’m not quite sure what it was.
I picked this one up for free* on Amazon for Kindle yesterday and I’m so glad that I did. With refreshing circumstances surrounding both the hero and the heroine, a nice little mystery, and a touch of heat, this little novella was a perfect way to pass the day.
Recommended for fans of honorable heroes who have trouble distancing themselves from their law-enforcement roots, feisty heroines who tend to take matters into their own hands, and a dash of danger sprinkled with a pinch of heat.
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