Series: Ash & Juliana #2
Publication Date: 8/17/21
Period: Georgian London, 1749
Number of Pages: 250
** 5 Stars **
Goodness! I surely do hope this turns out to be one of those very long-running series because I absolutely adore Ash and Juliana. The mystery is intriguing, the villain is vile, and the secondary characters are a mixed and interesting bunch.
Sir Edmund (Ash) Ashendon is constantly searching for justice – whether it is finding the perpetrator of a crime or defending someone he is sure has been falsely accused. It is the driving force in his life because he is trying very hard to make up for the really important one, the one he couldn’t save. He solved it too late and guilt still eats at him.
Ash and Juliana married almost a year ago after Ash saved her from the gallows (The Wedding Night Affair) when she was accused of murdering her husband on their wedding night. Juliana had been horribly brutalized, but she swore she didn’t kill her husband – and Ash believed her. They ended up in a marriage of convenience because her parents were immediately auctioning her off to the next brutalizer before the funeral had even been held. Juliana couldn’t stand to be touched in any way and since Ash never planned to marry because of his dedication to his work, having no intimacies between them was fine with him. Since she was very intelligent and observant, she’d make a good partner for him in his work – especially within the ton because she and her family are from the highest echelons.
It seems everyone in London knows of Ash’s penchant for helping Bow Street with the more ‘interesting’ cases. He had taken his family – Juliana, his sister Amelia, and younger brother Gregory – to Vauxhall to attend a fireworks rehearsal, where he was soon approached because there had been an ‘incident’. Oh! There was an incident alright – a dead body. While most would have put it down to a robbery gone wrong, Ash was certain it was murder.
Ash and Juliana pursue their investigation regardless of the rank of those they are questioning. From dukes, to street urchins, to the infamous Raven, everyone was suspected until they could be cleared. When another murder is done, Ash and Juliana know their main suspect is getting desperate and they have to put a plan in motion to catch them out. The culprit might surprise you – or it might not – but you’ll love getting to the identification.
There was so much I enjoyed about this book! I loved that the villain didn’t get off with no punishment. I loved that Juliana has come so very far in her healing process and that she and Ash have found they care more for each other than they thought. I loved the new relationship between Ash and the newspaper man. I loved that we learned the identity of the Raven – but – he sure left us hanging about what would be next. Oh! My!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Having both a romance and a mystery is a double treat!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.