Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) gives her fans what they want in her latest historical romance, set in a movieland Victorian England. Concordia Glade, a teacher with past secrets and unconventional ideas about educating women, meets Ambrose Wells, a "private inquiry agent" with secrets of his own and an unusual tattoo, as she and her four orphaned pupils flee Aldwick Castle, which they have set on fire to hide their escape. Ambrose escorts the lovely fugitives to safety, protecting them from the criminal mastermind and his aristocratic partner who'd kept them as part of a dastardly plan to use them for profit and pleasure. Concordia returns the favor by helping Ambrose investigate the mysterious death of a London woman. Courteous, daring, resourceful, Concordia and Ambrose can't wait to ravish each other repeatedly. Who but Quick (The Paid Companion, etc.) finds such joy in chestnuts such as the boy thief mentored by the rich man he tries to rob? Or the dilettante solving cases Scotland Yard can't?
From inside flap:
Hired to tutor four orphaned girls at remote, ramshackle Aldwick Castle, Miss Concordia Glade is pleased to find her pupils both eager and bright. Indeed, they are bright enough to have noticed some oddities about their situation. Provided for by and unseen benefactor, they are surrounded at all times by hard-eyed guards in the guise of gardeners- and their previous tutor, she learns, disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Stepping into this uncertain atmosphere,
concordia sees at once what must be done. The plan is daring in scope and execution, but with the help of her four students, the great escape stands a good chance of success. Of course, even the best-laid plans can go awry...and even the most independent, strong-minded lady must occasionally accept an offer of help.
During an investigation into a woman's death, private inquiry agent Ambrose Wells finds himself on the castle grounds-and in the middle of chaos. The building is in flames. People are dead. And a woman and four girls are fleeing on horseback. A confirmed loner, Ambrose never the less finds himself taking Concordia and her students under his wing. His past has made him eminently suitable to protect them from the person behind the events at Aldwick Castle: a notorious London crime lord who will stop at nothing to destroy those who know his secrets.
Their lives at risk, Concordia and the girls must remain safely in hiding until Ambrose is able to unravel the dark conspiracy. Bu if the girls have learned anything from Miss Glade, it is the value of curiosity- a quality their teacher possesses in great abundance. She has never been one to sit back quietly and let others take care of her. As the danger circles even closer, Ambrose and Concordia must work together to discover a way out of the darkness. In the process, they will learn a few lessons themselves- about stubbornness, courage, and love.
Typical Amanda Quick-suspense, romance, a plucky heroine and
a mysterious hero.
Surprisingly good book: a mystery/drama/romance written in a style faintly reminiscent of Jane Eyre, but with strong female characters. The initial chapter is somewhat long-winded, but hang on! It gets better.
This book is full of humor, supense, and tantalizing historical detail.