I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A really enjoyable Regency set story the heroine/hero being the widowed Deborah, Lady Kinsail and Elliot Marchmont an embittered former soldier.
Both have big secrets that they must keep safe as if found out their lives would be changed forever. *Spoilers ahead* Deborah, widowed after a disastrous marriage secretly writes racy novels in an act almost of revenge (or somehow self validation), while Elliot is a thief – a slightly Robin Hood type figure who sells his ill gotten gains to aid others. Their worlds literally collide when Elliot manages to fall onto Deborah while escaping her house after stealing from her brother in law. After another chance meeting, Elliot agrees to take Deborah out as his accomplice.
While the idea of the secrets between the two may be far-fetched for some, I really liked the two characters and the story rollicked along in a fun way. At the same time it also gave the reader an insight into the characters’ painful pasts, and managed at least in part to put some of Deborah’s to rest. I wasn’t so sure about Elliot’s, as it didn’t appear to be resolved to the same scale as Deborah, but this is only a minor quibble. There are sparks between the H/H from the beginning and some sensual scenes.
I also enjoyed the art reference to Velazquez as I recognised the painting referred to! I often enjoy secondary characters and also grew very fond of Elliot’s sister Lizzie and would love to see more of her.
All in all, I recommend this as a great, fun read – nicely detailed and the characters are satisfyingly ‘grown up’ which was a refreshing change from rakes and débutantes (not that I dislike these!). It was good to see two adults tackling real emotional problems.
This review also appears on my Goodreads page.