This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on October 23, 2018
For some time, I have been told that ‘if you love historical romance, you must try Kleypas’. And, I’ve been meaning to do that, but you know how it goes… Anyway, I finally did it and now I can see what all the fuss is about. Engaging plot, lush and spicy romance, and well-drawn characters had me listening eagerly each chance I had.
Someone to Watch Over Me was an interesting combination of romantic suspense and historical romance bringing together tropes with amnesia, revenge, and few others that I’ll keep to myself because of spoilers. The book opens on a dramatic scene of hard-bitten Bow Street Runner, Grant Morgan being on hand to investigate when a woman’s body is fished out of the Thames one night. But, instead of dead, she is still a live one and presents him with a bigger mystery than over for she is an infamous courtesan and she has lost her memories.
Vivian finds herself at the mercy of a man who takes prodigious care of her, but she feels that he doesn’t like her- at least the her she was before her near death. As she learns more and more about herself, she can see why Grant would feel that way because she doesn’t like her old self either. What she doesn’t realize is that she once dealt Grant a vicious blow by spreading a malicious lie that made him the laughingstock of High Society when he was already burdened by their disdain for his common birth and bitterness that a commoner had achieved some status and wealth by being the best at his job- hunting down criminals and being more ruthless than they were.
Ah, yes… this was the opening of a story that had me wary of just how far Grant would take it with his revenge and wondering what the fall out would be when Vivian learned of his original intent to pay her back in full- and it was not big gamble to know that was coming. When I say original intent, I mean that Vivian the amnesiac turns out to be nothing like that cold, narcissistic woman who took his gentle rebuff poorly. This Vivian is sweet, caring, and generous- she couldn’t be any more different. He reluctantly starts falling for her just as she does for him.
I found a great deal about this story to be predictable including the mystery with its twists and the romance itself. The hints were there- trust me, I’m not that intuitive. But, I don’t say this as a criticism. I don’t mind predictability when I like the characters and the storyline has my interests. Grant could be a jerk and Vivian had the ‘my hero’ flutter going on, but I thought they were great for each other when they were learning about each other and sharing surprising interests beyond the wild attraction.
The climax was exciting and breathtaking. I was riveted. What came afterward did drag somewhat. For the first time through the whole book, I was grateful to a character that I never liked. Vivian needed a kick in the pants to stop dithering and it was well-delivered. I am definitely interested to see what comes next for this series with a different Bow Street Runner.
The narrator was one I have enjoyed before, Anna Parker-Naples. She had a good handle on the British accents and genders, the situation and pacing of the various parts of the story. If I have a niggle, it was that I felt Vivian’s voice could sound like a little girl now and then.
All in all, I found my first experience with the author to be a strong success. I will be hitting her backlist and watching for future releases. And, in turn, I will pitch my own recommendation to historical romance fans who like things to get spicy.
My thanks to Tantor audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
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