Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Mad Morelands, #8
Release Date: June 29, 2021
When Tom Quick thwarts a break-in to his offices, he is shocked to realize the would-be thief is a woman! She escapes but leaves a clue to her identity – a token from the Farrington Club. It isn’t hard for Tom to track her down and confront her, but never in his wildest dreams could he have anticipated the story she has to tell.
Desiree Malone thought she had left her days of crime behind her, but when the opportunity to learn the truth of who her father is comes up, she can’t resist. When she breaks into the offices of Moreland and Quick looking for an envelope that Falk, the kidsman she used to work for wants, she doesn’t find it, but she does find something that might lead her to her father without having to work with Falk. She is so absorbed in her find, that she doesn’t hear Tom and is nearly caught, she barely gets away and takes to the rooftops to escape. It isn’t until later that she realizes she lost her token – the first one she ever won at her brother Brock’s gaming hell. But she is so excited about her find that she doesn’t worry overmuch about it. While in the office, she found a ring in the desk – with the Moreland crest, she immediately recognizes the ring as the same one her brother Brock has, that was given to him as a small child. Desiree and her twin brother Wells, remember nothing of their parents, but Brock was old enough to know some things, such as their parents were not married, their mother was their father’s mistress, and that they ran away together when the twins were still babies. Brock doesn’t know who their father was, but the man had given him a ring and that ring is an exact replica of the one she found in the office! She is sure her father was a Moreland, which in her mind, explains so much especially since she seems to possess a “gift” and has heard the whispers about the Mad Morelands and their “abilities”. She is trying to figure out how to proceed when she is confronted by Tom.
At first, Tom is sure that Desiree is trying to scam the Morelands and there is no way he will let that happen. Tom too worked for Falk, a fact that surprises them both, but he was saved by Reed Moreland and given a new life, which makes him very protective of the family. But as evidence begins to mount, Tom realizes that Desiree is not trying to hurt the family, she is just looking for answers. He agrees to help her and after visiting the Morelands, it becomes clear that while she is not from the Duke’s immediate family, she is in fact a Moreland. But even that knowledge doesn’t quell the uneasiness she is feeling and there is still the mystery of why her parents left without making provisions for them. But the more she and Tom begin to grow closer and to dig for answers, the more her uneasiness increases and it is clear that someone doesn’t want them finding the answers!
This was a well-written and interesting story that was more mystery than romance. The mystery was well-paced and perfectly executed with plenty of suspects and motives, the romance was a bit more subtle, which worked wonderfully for this book. My only real complaint was the constant incorrect use of the titles Lord and Lady Moreland, there would actually not be anyone addressed as Lord/Lady Moreland, but the author used it for everyone with the last name Moreland, so not only is it incorrect usage, but it makes it confusing to know which Moreland she is referencing. I enjoyed this book and I am hoping that there will be more installments that include Desiree’s brothers, This is the eighth book in the series, but it could easily be read as a standalone title with no problem, and while it is not necessary, to really understand the “Mad Morelands” I would recommend reading the books in order.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. *