STORY: London, 1887. Part stoic gentleman, part fearless Yard man, Zeno “Zak” Kennedy is an enigma of the first order. For years, the memory of a deadly bombing at King’s Cross has haunted the brilliant Scotland Yard detective. His investigation has zeroed in on a ring of aristocratic rebels whose bloody campaign for Irish revolution is terrorizing the city. When he discovers one of the treacherous lords is acquainted with his free-spirited new tenant, Cassandra St. Cloud, his inquiry pulls him unexpectedly close to the heart of the conspiracy and into the arms of a most intriguing lady.
And Cassie is no Victorian prude. An Impressionist painter with very modern ideas about life and love, she is eager for a romantic escapade that is daring and discreet. She sets her sights on her dour but handsome landlord, but after she learns their meeting was not purely accidental, she hardly has a chance to forgive her lover before their passionate affair catapults them both into a perilous adventure.
REVIEW: The above blurb perfectly summarizes the gist of the story, and gives you just the right amount of ‘bate’ to lure you in, and once you start reading, you’re sucked into the story that is perfectly balanced between the pace and plot, but always and without a doubt character driven to a point that a reader is living the emotions of the characters and feeling the danger around them.
I was thoroughly engrossed and fascinated with this unique romance. And let me tell you, this was a romance in every sense of that word. Even though our heroine comes from a self-admitted ‘bohemian’ family, she is a woman who knows exactly who she is and what she wants. No excuses, no apologies. I think that’s what attracts our hero to her, her ‘individuality’ was unique, and she was a stunner, too! For a man who has always taken himself and his job seriously, he desperately needed someone of Cassie’s caliber to take that ‘bit of starch’ out of his collar and expose him for the charmer and romantic that he really was. A scene in which they walk through the door after a weekend with her family, she’s going through a pile of messages, (mostly his, handing it to him), was so sweet and romantic, it will melt your heart…
“’…I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to receive messages for me. I hope you don’t mind.’ He leaned close and stole a fleeting kiss to her neck, just under the earlobe.
Aroused from a stimulating carriage ride home, her body tingled from his brief caress. ‘It would seem the neighborly thing to do.’
A grand new flower arrangement had been placed on the round pedestal table in the middle of the reception hall. As Zeno opened one communiqué after another, she gravitated toward the stunning new bouquet. Opening the hand written envelope, she removed a gilt-edged card.
For a glorious weekend. And might I further express my appreciation with a kiss placed just beneath your ear?
All my affection,
While this suspenseful romance set in Victorian era is chock full of historical detail so well written that you will see the London streets, women riding bicycles in their bloomers, railway and even a roadster in your mind’s eye, make no mistake, its sensuality will take your breath away.
Everything in this story played out like a movie, from the sophisticated, fun and witty dialogue to the supporting characters that were vivid and three-dimensional and intriguing and entertaining as much as our main protagonists. I would love to know more about Scarlet aka Kitty Matthews, his brothel informant and Scotland Yard blokes, Rafe Lewis and Flynn Rhys. What cool dudes they were! And what about his ‘sleuth in training’ housekeeper, Alma Woolsley? She was great! This story will not only appeal to us hardcore romance lovers, but to all of you ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and even ‘Dr. Who’ fans.
Ms. Jillian Stone wrote a novel that is different from anything I’ve read and its uniqueness makes it memorable. Way to go, Ms. Stone! Listen well, my little Bookworms, if you’re looking for a novel that will get your heart rate up with its sensuality, action and sweet romance, all at the same time, this is the book for you as well! I will be eagerly awaiting the next one, and the next…