My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second book I have read by this author, and this book was indeed a little edgier than her last. One of the possible reasons this may be the case is that it is a mystery instead of a straight romance. But don’t be concerned–you will find fantastic romance and a strong heroine as in her other story. In addition to these elements, the reader will devour a mystery that is typical and yet spine-tingling.
Cady and Doyle make an unlikely couple as they investigate the inexplicable murders of young women. While I ultimately did discern the culprit, the author did not drop hints to make this a simple mystery. She even introduced a taboo social issue that surprised me but didn’t offend me–homosexuality. Seeing this through the Victorian eye certainly sets this apart from other books in this genre. I honestly was not aware of the prevalence of women’s preparatory colleges in that day and age, and this book inspires me to do a little research of my own on this topic.
While the book was intriguing for the most part, there were portions of the book that seemed a little slow. I am honestly not certain why I could not always connect with the characters, and sometimes the love portion of the story seemed a little stinted. There is a lot more profanity in this book than her last–not hardcore, thank goodness–and I didn’t feel it was always necessary, but I did not let that affect my enjoyment nor rating of the book. I would have either preferred a little more action and/or a little more romance. This being the author’s first mystery (as far as I know), perhaps I will enjoy her next one even more.
In short, I could recommend this book to those who love Victorian era mysteries and romances. The reader won’t find hot and heavy bedroom scenes (for this, I am extremely grateful), and the morals of the characters are either good or reformed. I have no problem recommending this to most of my readers I know who like this genre.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Summary (from goodreads): A man obsessed, a woman willing to risk it all…
Tainted in the eyes of Victorian society by his wife’s suicide, successful entrepreneur Doyle Flanagan turns a deaf ear to the baseless gossip and harsh rebukes. Ignoring his shattered reputation, he goes about his business making money, doing some good for others and making a few enemies along the way. Arrested for murder, he is forced to rely on a feisty school administrator to solve the puzzle. As he struggles to prove his innocence, he realizes gaining the trust and loyalty of Cady Delafield may be more important than his freedom.
On a quest to locate a missing student, school matron Cady Delafield enters a stranger’s house and discovers the woman murdered. Driven to see the murderer brought to justice, she is determined to prevent any further tragedy even if it means joining forces with the very man accused of the atrocity. Against the wishes of her powerful family, she risks her job and reputation to learn the truth. But will the truth, once revealed, drive her away from the man she has come to love?
Passion and murder collide in 1880’s Chicago as they race to keep one step ahead of the police who want Doyle to pay for his crime. As the attraction between Cady and Doyle sizzles, they battle suspicions, lies and lethal actions to uncover the murderer before he destroys them both.