Series: Lost Lords of London #1
Publication Date: 3/17/20
Number of Pages: 383
This first entry in the Lost Lords of London series introduces us to the first of the kidnapped children Connor Steele (The Vixen) has been commissioned to find. These are children of the ton who were kidnapped by the malicious, infamous Diggory. I thought maybe we’d get a visit from Stephen who was one of those children and who was also a supporting character throughout the Wicked Wallflower series – he was heavily featured in The Bluestocking. Unfortunately, Stephen didn’t make an appearance.
Verity Lovelace, who is now thirty, has provided the support for herself, her sister and their former nursemaid since she was twelve years old. She is the natural daughter of an Earl and a barmaid. The earl was a profligate but did manage to provide a small cottage for them while he was alive, but he made no arrangements for them when he died. The only thing he did for them was to arrange for Verity, at age twelve, to have a job at a newspaper, The Londoner. Verity has worked there for almost twenty years and finally worked her way into being a reporter.
Before he was kidnapped as a child, Marcus North was known as Percival Northrop, heir to the Earl of Maxwell. Marcus doesn’t remember anything about that time – and doesn’t want to. He doesn’t want the title or the encumbrances that come along with it. Connor Steele has found him and has seen to making the claim legitimate, etc. – but, Marcus doesn’t want anyone to know he’s the earl nor does he want them to know where he lives or anything else about him. He’s adamant about keeping his secrets – almost paranoid about it.
When Marcus encounters Verity in the sewers, he saves her, gets her out of the sewers, then lets her go – only for her to get attacked again – and another rescue. He does something he has never, ever, done before, he takes her to where he lives. She NEVER tells him she is a reporter and that she is looking for the Earl of Maxwell. She noses around and makes the discovery of who he really is. He tells her he doesn’t want his story told – but… Does Verity care about what Marcus or anyone else wants? No, she does not.
It took me a while to get into this novel because I just couldn’t make myself like Verity. I finally got to where I tolerated her, but I never really came to like her. She seemed very embittered, totally uncaring about what her stories did to others – particularly Marcus. It did finally register with her and I warmed up to her a bit. I liked Marcus from the beginning and his anger with Verity was definitely valid. I did find it surprising that he was attracted to her when she had deliberately, uncaringly, caused him so much harm.
I enjoyed the story and thought it was nicely unique. However, it was ambiguous in a number of things – like the time period. There were a few hints and I finally came to believe that the setting must have been somewhere between 1820 and 1837 – but I shouldn’t have to try to figure out any of that kind of stuff, it should be plainly obvious. Also, be aware that the female lead is a rabid feminist who seems to hate men and has some very contemporary thinking. You’ll also find some more contemporary wording, etc.
Still, I enjoyed the read and look forward to the next story.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.