Release Date: 07/22/17
Series: Rogues to Riches, #3
I’m giving the book 4 stars, because it was well written and entertaining, but if you are a stickler for “by the book” true Regency protocol, this book is not for you.
This is the story of Dahlia Grenville (sister of Camilla from Lord of Pleasure) and Simon Spaudling.
Dahlia has runs a boarding school for girls in St. Giles, she has a huge heart and can’t bring herself to turn away any girl in need. Problem is, she has used all her own funds and she can’t afford to keep the school running without more donations, which are bascially non-existent since Lord Wainwright inadvertently scorned her school. Unwilling to close the school, Dahlia does what she thinks she must to keep the school going. She becomes a thief, does she know that it is wrong? Yes! But to her mind, closing the school and returning the girls to the streets is far worse.
Simon is an inspector for Bow Street, he is dedicated to his job and is a stickler for the law – there is no gray in Simon’s world. He is the bastard son of a marquess and has strong feelings about the “upper class”. He is still angry and bitter about the relationship that he had (or more aptly, didn’t have) with his father and is incredibly jealous of his half-brother, Lord Hawkridge. He has put all his passion for injustice into his career and has been very successful. So successful that the Justice of the Peace has been tasked him with finding the “Thief of Mayfair” and Simon will stop at nothing to find this criminal and bring them to justice.
He meets Dahlia by chance, he was on his way home when he came upon two women running from an attacker, he chases the thug and takes him into custody. He returns to St. Giles to let Dahlia know that the attacker was caught and thinks that will be the end of their association. But Simon is intrigued with Dahlia and returns to the school a few days later.
Dahlia is also taken with the handsome young inspector, but she has no room in her life for a romantic relationship nor can she risk what little social standing she still has by engaging in an affair. She vows to keep Simon at arms length. But she can’t seem to stop herself from drawing Simon into her life and for his part, Simon can’t seem to stay away.
As these two spend more time together and fall in love, it seems like they will have an easy path to a HEA. But what fun would that be??
When the truth is revealed about Dahlia’s “fund raising” efforts, will his love for her be enough for him to change his black and white view? I honestly wasn’t sure and didn’t see how this book could possibly have a positive ending! Of course it does, but it is touch and go until the very end 🙂
The book is well written, flows nicely, has a couple of warm love scenes and very likable characters (I will be honest, I didn’t like Dahlia in the previous book and didn’t expect to like her in this one, but she won me over). On the downside, their is little to no adherence to Regency proprieties and the idea that a young unmarried woman from a good family could do the things that Dahlia did and not be a complete outcast is unbelievable. However, if you can bear in mind that this is a work of fiction and can overlook this, you will not be disappointed with the story!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*