A marquess’s daughter, Lady Sophia Barnes doesn’t take no for an answer. Especially when she’s roaming London’s seedy underground…dressed as a man.
A rabble rouser for justice, Sophie’s latest mission is to fight for the rights of the poor, the wretched—and the employees at Madame Hartley’s brothel. She’s not concerned about the criminals who will cross her path, for Sophie has mastered the art of deception—including the art of wearing trousers. Now her fate is in her own hands, along with a loaded gun. All she needs is instruction on how to shoot it. But only one person can help her: Lord Quint, the man who broke her heart years ago. The man she won’t let destroy her again…
The last thing Damien Beecham, Viscount Quint, needs is an intrusion on his privacy, especially from the beautiful, exasperating woman he’s never stopped wanting. A woman with a perilously absurd request, no less! For Damien is fighting a battle of his own, one he wishes to keep hidden—along with his feelings for Lady Sophia. Yet that fight is as hopeless as stopping her outlandish plan. Soon all Quint knows for certain is that he will die trying to protect her…
I have really enjoyed this series, and was really looking forward to the third book because of the unusual, quirky and uselessly cute hero. Joanna Shupe is a talented new historical romance author.
However, once I read the blurb I knew this wouldn’t be my favourite in the series. The woman undercover in men’s clothes trope is far and away my least favourite in the genre.
One of the biggest problems with this theme is that I can barely buy a regular woman of the Georgian era dressing as a man and going undercover in brothels. But as the historical romance genre is obsessed with the aristocracy we have a daughter of nobility doing it, and that’s one massive anachronism too far for me.
I don’t think this is a bad book, not at all. It still has the complex plotting and the good writing that I’ve seen in the author’s other work. It’s just that it was too unbelievable for me to really get into. When I read books in this genre I sometimes stop and think: What would Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet do? And she definitely wouldn’t have done anything the characters in this book did!
I’ll give the author props for the proper spelling of arse, but must point out that outside of America it’s knives and forks, not forks and knives!
If you’re fine with cross-dressing heroines in your historical romances, you’ll probably really enjoy this, especially so if you don’t stop and wonder how nobody noticed the “man’s” voice was a woman’s! However, it just wasn’t my sort of book, though I would strongly recommend the others in the series.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.