Expected Release Date: May 4, 2012
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Author’s Website: http://www.darcyburke.com/
My Source for This Book: Amazon.com
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Secrets & Scandals Series
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Overly Stubborn Heroine
Favorite Tropes: Thief, Hero In Pursuit
She was his savior…
Banished from London for her reckless behavior, Lady Miranda Sinclair is robbed by a dashing highwayman en route to the country. By offering him a kiss in lieu of the jewels she had to leave behind, she commits the very type of act that caused her exile. When her dour guardians extend her punishment to performing charitable work at the local orphanage, she’s further tempted by the home’s owner, a provincial gentleman who stirs her passion in a most wicked way.
He was her downfall…
Desperate to save his orphanage from financial catastrophe, Montgomery “Fox” Foxcroft leads a double life as a highwayman. The arrival of wealthy, well-connected Miranda, whose kiss he can’t forget, presents a lawful opportunity to increase his coffers. His problems seem solved—until she rejects his suit. Out of options and falling for the heiress, Fox must risk what principles he has left and take advantage of her wicked ways—even if it ruins them both.
What Worked For Me:
- I adored Fox, not just because he had stooped to highway robbery (although I admit, I did love that about him), but because at heart, he was a truly honorable man. The Robin Hood sentimentality of the story was a lot of fun, especially when things weren’t always as they seemed.
- I admit, I didn’t actually like Miranda at first, but then again, I think that may have been the author’s intention. I loved how much she grew and changed over the course of the novel.
- I loved that Fox actually considered compromising Miranda into marriage for a good part of the novel. The fact that she came from a family that had money, and the fact the he desperately needed money for the orphanage made him a little less than noble at times, but the tension that it caused was wonderful.
- I also really enjoyed the children, surprisingly enough. I don’t typically enjoy children in my romance novels, but I can’t deny that the children of the orphanage stole my heart just as the did Miranda’s.
- While not overly steamy, I enjoyed the chemistry between Miranda and Fox.
- I loved the family dynamic between Miranda and her parents. I wasn’t expecting to ever feel sorry for her, because, as I mentioned, she was very unlikable in the beginning. Towards the end though, I enjoyed “meeting” her family, and began to understand more why she was the way she was.
- I’m looking forward to reading Jasper’s book as well, though that doesn’t count towards the final rating of this one.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- Honestly, this book felt like it should have ended several chapters before it did. While I understood wanting to show Miranda’s family, to have her “choose” Fox as her husband rather than being compromised into marriage, and to give the author more time to set up for Jasper’s book (which is next in the series), her stubbornness towards the idea of marrying Fox felt unnecessarily cruel and annoying.
- The way that Fox’s thievery was handled didn’t feel very realistic to me. I can’t say more without spoilers, but I would have expected things to go in a slightly different direction in the end.
I never expected to enjoy a book with such an unlikable heroine, but enjoy it I did. With a Robin Hood styled hero, and a heroine who ended up surprising more than just myself with the changes she made, thrown in with a dash of adventure and a pinch of heat, it was a great way to pass the day.
My biggest issue with the story was, I suppose, the pacing. While I understood why the book didn’t end about three-quarters of the way through, it almost felt as though it should have, with Miranda’s further refusal to marry Fox feeling unnecessarily hurtful rather than adding tension to the story.
In the end, this left me with a bit of a sour feeling as the book ended, and as such, pulled down the final rating a bit.
Overall, however, it was an enjoyable read, recommended for fans of reckless heroines, unexpectedly dashing heroes, and a surprising amount of adventure.