Series: The Devils of Dover
Publication Date: 5/28/19
Number of Pages: 368
Well, I’m going to tell you two things right up front. (1) I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced, action-filled book. (2) Be prepared to suspend any credulity you have because there is not one – nope, not one – historically accurate thing in the book. I believe there should be a separate sub-genre for books like this because they can’t rightly be called ‘historical romance’ or ‘Regency romance’ because there is nothing historical or Regency about the book. Maybe there should be another sub-category – like ‘fantasy historical romance’. The same has been true for the entire series so far.
Harland Hayward, Baron Strathmore, became a physician because that was just who he was. Society doesn’t condone it, but that doesn’t matter to him. He’s also caught in a snare and has been for many years – with many more to go. In order to save his family, he agreed to work – for twenty years – for an underworld kingpin named King. Being a physician makes the smuggling easier because he has a handy excuse for being out and about at strange times and places – and he can care for any of the smugglers who are injured. That is how he meets our heroine – her brother was badly injured and Harland went to care for him, only to find he was already being cared for by someone else.
Miss Katherine Wright has quite a history. She was born into a smuggling family and grew up learning to be good at it. She was told that she could be the best smuggler there ever had been because of her skills, cunning, and intelligence. Her mother was a midwife as well as a smuggler and Katherine learned her medical skills as well. Katherine didn’t want to be a smuggler and she didn’t want her family to be smugglers either – constantly in danger of being found out. So, when the opportunity presented itself, she left Dover and followed the drum where she learned and perfected the skills of a surgeon.
When Katherine returned to Dover, it was to learn that her father and brother were still smugglers and Captain Buhler is obsessed with catching them. Buhler is a fanatic that will do anything to catch smugglers – burn homes, arrest feeble old men – it doesn’t matter to him. She knows she has to get her family away from that life, but they have to finish that last job that was interrupted when her brother was injured. She’ll have to step in and finish it for him. That is nearly her undoing.
The story is full of action – smugglers, soldiers, prison breaks, underworld kings – you’ve got some of all of it in this book. The romance was steamy and very believable. Overall, an enjoyable though unbelievable read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.