Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis (The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, #2) by Jillian Stone

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     "One can never be sure, this early in an investigation, but a pattern may be developing. Two captains of industry dead in less than a week. Rather peculiar." A ray of light passed through the cabin, enough for Rafe to notice the sunrise over a block of terrace homes. Zeno's mouth formed a thin, grim line. "Melville doesn't believe in coincidence when it come to murder."...
     "I take it you surmise Greyville-Nugent's most unfortunate death by threshing machine was not accidental?"
     "Taken together, these two murders may indicate a macabre scheme at work. One with a touch of grotesque wit--some sort of mad poetic justice."

Raphael Lewis (aka Rafe) is a Scotland yard detective who five years ago called off his engagement to Francine Greyville-Nugent the night of their betrothal ball. Breaking the betrothal had been one of the hardest things he'd ever done. He had given her no explanation and left her father to tell her the news. Now he's been asked to guard his former best friend and fiance because she may be the next target of a mad man. Suffice it to say the upcoming reunion would not be a pleasant or welcomed one.

Francine (aka Fanny) Greyville-Nugent's heart was broken five years ago when Rafe had broken off their engagement. She had no clue what events had transpired for him to do so. Just moments before he left he'd been attentive and flirtatious. His own family had disowned him as a result of the broken engagement. Now on the eve of her father's funeral, the louse had the gall to show his face. She'd missed her best friend, the man she had once thought to be her soul mate, but she didn't think she could ever forgive him.

     "I want you gone from my house this instant. Get out Rafe."
     "I'm afraid you will have to put up with me, like it or no." A kind of husky burr had crept back into his speech. "I will not bargain when it comes to your life, Fanny. If you do not cooperate with Scotland Yard, you'll be jailed for your own safety."

Until he can safely get her under the care of Scotland Yard, she'd be his captive audience. With a unknown murder on the loose, he'd get his chance to try to regain what they'd once lost.

This was a fun book that had a unique style to it. It takes place in the Victorian era and incorporates technology which didn't exist at the time, but holds true to the design style of the time period in which said invention is integrated into. So this one had a bit of a Steampunk feel to it.

Fanny is a fun character, who is a bit of a bluestocking and determined not make things easy for Detective Lewis. He broke her heart with no explanation, and she's not likely to forget that. She lost not only her fiance that day, but her best friend. She's smart, resourceful, and will slowly worm out of Rafe what happened all those years ago.

Rafe is a very likable sort. He's smart, honorable, and, despite what he did to Fanny, loyal. He made a big mistake six years ago and tried to rectify it, but in doing so he ended up hurting the one person he never would have wished to--Fanny. During the course of the book he'll attempt to win back, if nothing else, her friendship. It's obvious, however, from the very beginning that these two belong together.

As Scotland Yard suspected, someone is targeting leaders of industry and innovation. As Fanny has vowed to continue on with her father's work, she's become a target. Shortly after her father's funeral, Fanny and Detective Lewis are dodging bullets and running for their lives attempting to make their way to London where Fanny can be put in protective custody until the culprit(s) is/are caught. Whoever is after Fanny, has a fairly expansive and well organized group of followers that seem to be able to cover great distances. Unfortunately, due to the time period, the only way to get in touch with Scotland Yard to request backup is to use the telegraph services which are far and few between. So Fanny and Rafe will begin a journey that will bring them closer together and force the two to come face to face with the past and deal with what happened so long ago.

Overall I gave this one 3 out of 5 roses. It is a fast paced, fun read with a slightly dramatic flair and whose cover I think truly captures the spirit of the book. I liked watching Rafe and Fanny reignite their feelings for each other while on the run. Neither had ever truly gotten over the other. The mystery of who and why someone was attempting to eliminate those who could bring about technological advances was also a fun aspect to the story. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale this one earns a FAN Rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

Order of Series:

Coming November 27, 2010:

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I like it when two characters just match up. Despite the circumstances these two face, it sounds fun!


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