This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Signet
Released on February 4, 2014
I hadn’t read any books from this series, but when I read the blurb I plunged in to read this latest installment. Luckily, this worked out fine as this book’s ties to the series are pretty loose and can be read as a standalone. It was the promise of danger, espionage and historical romance all wrapped up in one story that drew me in. Offer me spies and I’m all over that book. Haha! I had a blast with this one from beginning to end.
Emily, with the help of her friend Lucy, has cooked up a scheme in the hopes of nudging the man Emily dreams of to finally notice her. Lucy has made it possible for Emily to set up a gypsy fortune teller tent at her family’s ball and Emily will act as the fortune teller. Her half-Rom brother, Michael has given her a crash course in palm and tarot card reading and he watches over her from behind the tent. In an unexpected twist, instead of giving Cameron a foretelling of Emily being his future, she gets a handsome attractive stranger who ducks into the tent to avoid someone. He flirts and kisses her before he disappears into the night.
Damien leaves the delectable gypsy girl behind to get back to the serious business of his mission to infiltrate a group of anarchists, discover their plans and thwart their efforts. Only his gypsy has stumbled upon the secret meeting and the plotters call for her death. Damien has to whisk her away and eventually propose all in an effort to save her life. If he isn’t completely revolted at the idea and pleasantly surprised when he sees his intended without her gypsy disguise that is his business.
Emily has gotten into trouble for years, but this time she’s tripped into a situation way beyond her ability to extricate herself. She has to depend on this attractive and yet enigmatic stranger who happens to be an earl no less to keep her safe. As they play the role of besotted lovers and then husband and wife, she finds it difficult to focus on her fears because Damien has no plans for a marriage in name only. He introduces her to the world of passion and teaches her to enjoy all that his experience can bring to their marriage bed.
Damien has never felt this distracted before. It’s a toss up who will be his priority if danger is near and he suspects his enchanting bride might push out duty to crown. But the danger is real and he must both keep Emily safe and protect the man who can identify all the traitors even while they all work together to cross up the plotters.
Some historical romances are awesome because they are so beautifully authentic, some are light and fluffy gooey ones, but then there are the fun romps. This one most definitely fell in the last camp. It had a nodding acquaintance with the historical side, but the focus was most assuredly on the romance.
There are pacing issues when both characters get caught up in their heads. Even though I recognized that things were slowing way down and not as crisp as I’d like, I was never bored. Maybe this one caught me in the right mood, but I didn’t really mind all the mulling over about what they thought of each other and their relationship.
Damien is the historical romance lover’s dream hero. He is dangerous, confident, domineering, but he is bowled over by the gutsy, spontaneous, lively lady to which he finds himself married. For the first time in his life, he embraces all the light and fun, the romance and the little adventures that being near Emily brings him and sets aside the weightiness of the past, his quest for power and fortune and his responsibilities. These two were great together. I think the only thing that would have made this better for me was to see the two of them engaged in more espionage action. Emily had one scene where she was in danger as did Damien, but they were small in comparison to the size of the book. Greedy me wanted more of that sort of thing. I can just see them as one of those great husband and wife detective teams in a lovely romantic suspense series.
Speaking of teams, the side story with Emily’s ladies’ maid and Damien’s valet who were also playing parts in the mission was a great part of the story too. It was like a second little story tucked inside the larger one.
All in all, this was a lighter historical romance that was full of passion and good chemistry between the characters. I am definitely going back for more of Jillian Hunter’s Boscastles.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review thoughts.