The Virgin Who Ruined Lord Gray by Anna Bradley

The Virgin Who Ruined Lord Gray (The Swooning Virgins Society, #1)Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Swooning Virgins Society #1
Publication Date: 10/27/20
Number of Pages: 268

**** 4.5 Stars Rounded Up ****

Oh! What a lovely, fun, exciting read, and just what I needed. It is well-plotted, well-written, very exciting, and romantic. I usually like one of the main characters and am more neutral on the other – but that isn’t the case here. They are wonderful characters who are deep, complex, and fully formed, and I adored both of them.

Sophia Monmouth has lived at the Clifford Charity School since her mother was murdered when she was seven years old. She lives there along with her friends Cecilia, Georgiana, and Emma – all under the guidance of Lady Amanda Clifford. The household is in a huge state of upset because Jeremy Ives, a member of the household, has been arrested and accused of murder. Everyone who knows Jeremy knows he is innocent, but nobody wants to hear it. It is Sophia’s mission to find a way to free Jeremy and she doesn’t intend to fail. Sophia is a tiny sprite of a woman who is quick, agile, crafty, and highly skilled at disguising herself and blending into the shadows. Sophia knows a servant of Lord Everly, Peter Sharpe, is lying about Jeremy – this isn’t Sharpe’s first involvement in a criminal case. She has been trailing him all over London and he always ends up back at the scene of all of the crimes – St. Clement Dane’s church.

Tristan Stratford, formerly a Bow Street runner known as the Ghost of Bow Street, is now the Earl of Gray. He never had a desire to be the earl but had no choice after the death of his brother. Tristan is only in London to wrap-up some affairs and to see justice done for his friend Henry Gerrard, a Bow Street runner, who was brutally murdered. The murderer has been arrested and is awaiting trial – Tristan cannot wait to see him swing. One day, as he’s looking out his window, he sees a boy lying totally still on Lord Everly’s pediment. The child is so still – totally unmoving – until – he’s up, off the pediment and…. Is he trailing someone? Tristan heads out and trails the boy – until he catches him …er…well catches HER. Oh! My!

Tristan and Sophia come from two very different backgrounds and they have very different views of justice and just how equal it is. Sophia manages to turn Tristan upside down and inside out. He thinks she’s a lawbreaker, but he’s drawn to her. Can he fight his attraction and bring her to justice? Is she really a lawbreaker? Their journey toward the HEA is one filled with danger and excitement.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Tristan and Sophia’s story. Now, you’ll have noticed that I gave the book 4.5 stars and rounded it up. The reason I did that is that I learned more about the Clifford Charity School and its mission by reading the book blurb than I did from the book. I have absolutely no clue why Lady Clifford began the school, why she takes in these girls, what the mission of the school really is, etc. It really annoys me when a book raises a lot of questions in my mind and doesn’t answer them. Maybe future books in the series will enlighten me.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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