Formats available: ebook, mass market paperback
Genre: Historical romance
Series: The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, #2
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Date Released: August 28, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository
The fates had been perversely mischievous of late—case in point, Raphael Lewis…
When Fanny Greyville-Nugent’s father suffers a gruesome death in the clutches of his own machine, mourning his loss is not the beautiful heiress’s only heartbreak. Scotland Yard is convinced he was targeted in a plot to halt the rise of industry, and Fanny’s former fiancé, dashing and dubious detective Raphael “Rafe” Lewis, has been assigned to the case.
For the estranged ex-lovers, bringing the notorious assassins to justice proves as tumultuous as quelling pent-up desires. Fighting peril and passion at every turn of a dangerous journey from Edinburgh to London, they are pursued by an anarchist group hell-bent on destroying her father’s mysterious entry into the London Industrial Exposition.
When an astonishing discovery about the couple’s failed engagement surfaces, the sleuthing duo realize they can trust no one. Rafe confesses new details about his infidelity and Fanny risks all to avenge her father’s murder. But will Rafe and Fanny triumph over the pain of their past?
This second entry in Jillian Stone’s Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series (after An Affair with Mr. Kennedy, reviewed by me at Book Lovers Inc.) is a marvelous take on the second chance at love story, with a thrilling adventure added to give the tale a delicious amount of spice.
Ms. Stone definitely loves to add all kinds of spice to her stories!
In the case of this tale, there are two kinds, one is the “run for your life” kind of adventure, and the other is the constant sexual tension between Rafe Lewis and Fanny Greyville-Nugent while they are doing that running.
They used to be engaged. The bad news is that they had to break it off. The good news is that neither of them ever got over it. Back to the bad news again, Fanny has never known why the engagement was broken. Their romantic situation is, not just messy, but contains way too many secrets that need to come out.
But all that bad history makes Fanny disinclined to put up with an ounce of Rafe ordering her around, even when it comes to all too real threats to her safety. Someone is murdering industrialists in spectacularly gory ways, including Fanny’s father. Now that Fanny has inherited his company, Fanny is next on the bloody list.
Except that the murderer seems to have more dastardly plans for Fanny than mere murder. And somewhere amongst the trains, horse-thieving, and coach-riding involved in running for Fanny’s life, Rafe and Fanny discover that the love they had for each other years ago still burns under her disillusionment and his attempts to forget. And under all those buried secrets.
If they survive, can they have the future they might have had? Or did they kill it with their lies?
Escape Rating B: This Dangerous Liaison was every bit as much fun as the Affair with Mr. Kennedy. One of the highlights of the series contnues to be that the women are equally involved in their careers, no matter how untraditional that might have been for the time. It makes the characters much more entertaining, and makes them the equal of the heroes in the adventure.
Although I must admit that Fanny’s frequent attempts at leaving protective custody always ended badly and seemed particularly ill-thought out. She generally seemed too sensible to keep getting in trouble that way, but it was necessary for the plot.
While I understood why Fanny eventually took Rafe back, and she certainly did make him pay, what I never fully got was why he got into the fix he did in the first place that started the whole sorry chain of events, because he got misled by some so-called friends. There was something not-quite right about what happened and it was cleared up all too easily at the end.
But I still had a great time reading the book, and Ms. Stone was very sneaky about revealing that we are already invested in the hero of one of the later books. Hugo Curzon, who nearly charmed Cassie St. Cloud in book 1, turns out to be Agent Phineas Gunn of A Private Duel with Agent Gunn. Sneaky author.