Series: Spinster’s Society #9
Barbara’s Rating 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 6/13/18
I believe this is the most exciting book of the series so far. I have been looking forward to seeing what was going to happen with Franklin Lockwood since he decided to become a physician specializing in healing the mind. My Goodness! Those skills are sorely needed in this book.
London, 1815 — The opening scene takes place in a basement with Franklin, Charles Grayly (Earl of Dahl) and some thugs employed by Mr. Bancroft. Charles Grayly has been badly beaten – he could still talk – but he won’t. Frank has been commandeered by Mr. Bancroft to plumb the depths of the earl’s mind for clues to the location of Bancroft’s sister, whom the earl has kidnapped. The man is completely and totally mad. When the earl won’t talk, Frank turns to the strange poems the earl sends to his victims to see if there is a clue. They are strangely written poems, but then . . . . then… Frank notices a pattern and determines where Diana Bann is secreted. So, off they go to rescue her – or more likely, to find her dead body because all of the earl’s other victims are dead.
Diana Bann is a renowned ballerina and she is also the much loved secret sister to Mr. Bancroft the king of London’s underworld. They cannot afford for the world to know of their relationship because it would make Bancroft vulnerable – and that is one thing he cannot afford to be. Diana is near death when she senses people running toward her in the basement where she’s been kept, brutalized and tortured. She fights them off as best she can in her weakened state, but it is no use. Then, she sees a marble angel and quiets for him. She forever refers to Frank as her ‘marble man’.
Diana needs to heal in both body and mind. The body, of course, heals much quicker than the mind. Frank works with her for months and she comes to terms with most of what happened to her, but he knows she hasn’t told him all.
I love that the story takes place over almost two years rather than the usual short periods from meeting to marrying. However, there was one thing I just couldn’t buy – Diana almost immediately lusted after Frank. Given what happened to her, I cannot imagine that happening. So, that particular part of the story was pretty unbelievable.
Frank and Diana come into contact off and on and the attraction is always still there. Frank fights it because of the doctor/patient relationship and his secret fears and Diana embraces it and does all she can to attract Frank. Then, when Diana remembers more from her abduction, Frank realizes she is still in danger.
Frank and Bancroft have a number of run-ins that are great. Bancroft is very, very protective of his sister and it doesn’t matter that she loves Frank. Bancroft doesn’t approve of the gentry/aristocracy and will keep them apart – even though he really does like Frank.
Their path to their HEA isn’t easy or in a straight line, but they do finally get there. One thing that would have made it better would have been for the book to go through the wedding and to have Bancroft yield and walk Diana down the aisle.
I thought we might see a set-up for what I assume will be the last book in the series – Julius Hext and Moira, but they didn’t even make an appearance. Several others from the previous books were there, but not Julius and Moira. I sure hope the last book is a whizz-bang wrap up with all the Men of Nashwood and their wives and an epilogue that takes place two or three years in the future showing all of them in their happy lives.
This was a quick and interesting read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The other books in the series are listed below:
|1||Emmett Starr, Earl of Ashwick||Lorena Cullip (Sister to Francis Cullip)|
|2||Calvin Lockwood, Very rich landed gentry||Alice Wilkins (Gentleman’s Club Owners Daughter)|
|3||Francis Cullip, Duke of Valdeston||Lady Genevieve ‘Genie’ Toft|
|4||Morris Kidd, Duke of Cort||Sophia Taylor|
|5||Rollo Kerry, Rich landed gentry||Florence Crew (a lady’s maid)|
|6||Hugh Vance – Marquess of Edvoy||Taygete Bellenger|
|7||Aaron Walsh, Earl of Jeanshire||Cristin Potter (Owner of employment agency)|
|8||Sir William Tift||Natalia Hext (Leah Wells)(Cousin to Julius Hext)|
|9||Franklin Lockwood, Very Rich Landed Gentry||Diana Bann (Ballerina and sister to crime lord Mr. Bancroft)|
|10||Julius Hext, Marquess of Darvess||Moira (?)|
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