Sometimes the journey is more pleasurable than the destination . . .
Standing on the platform at Grand Central Station, Ted Harper is surprised by a fiery kiss from an undeniably gorgeous damsel in distress. He’s certain she’s a swindler who’s only after his money, but he’s never met a woman so passionate and sure of herself. Disarmed, he invites her to spend the journey to St. Louis in his private car—perhaps against his better judgment…
Clara Dawson has long known how to take care of herself, but the savvy shop girl is at a loss when she witnesses—and becomes entangled in—a terrible crime. Desperation propels her into a stranger’s arms at the train station, but she hadn’t expected Ted to offer her the protection she so badly needs—nor did she expect their chemistry to develop more steam than the engine of the train. He’s everything she never thought she could have, and she’s everything he didn’t know he wanted. But as her secrets begin to unfurl, their fledgling romance could be in danger of derailing before they arrive at the next station…
If Joanna Shupe decided to just write books set in America’s nineteenth century Gilded Age from now on, I wouldn’t complain. I think there’re so many opportunities for great stories with that setting, and it is severely underused. I enjoyed this one and look forward to the next.
I actually didn’t realise Tycoon was a novella until I started reading, but I have no problem with that. I know and understand all the reasons readers object to novellas in the romance genre. Obviously it is nearly impossible to establish a relationship in that timeframe, but I bought it here.
This story takes place over the course of a train journey, which was original, and something you’ll never see in most historical romance settings. Even though here and there things had to be a bit outlandish, I thought it made for a great adventure.
One thing that is great about this setting is that the social rules aren’t as strict as – say – Regency England. There’re so many opportunities for a variety of characters from a variety of backgrounds. This was one of my favourite things about this story (and what I’m looking forward to in future books).
I do think I prefer this author’s voice in her books set in the United States over her books set in England. As the author is American, I think she might be more comfortable in this setting. However, I also just really want to see more books set there!
This is a promising start to a new series.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.