I enjoy a good Regency romance, but sometimes it’s nice to step away from dukes and the ballrooms to see a historical romance from a different perspective. There are no ingénues in this book; no teacakes or afternoon calls. This is a second chance at love story, set against the dark and dirty rookeries of London in the 1830s. And I really liked the change of pace.
It’s been three years since Kate lived a life of wealth and comfort. She was the daughter of a successful tradesman and happily engaged to one of her father’s most trusted employees. But it all came crashing down when Daniel was accused of murder and ran from prosecution. Shortly after, her father fell ill and his business fell apart. She was left alone and penniless when he died and was forced to start her life over in the slums.
In the years since, Kate has successfully reinvented herself as a fence. She has hardened her heart and sworn off attachments. She never thought she would see Daniel again, so you can imagine her surprise when he returns, determined to clear his name and win her back.
Daniel is a recovering alcoholic. His dependence on gin was what made him such an easy patsy in that murder. But his time away from Kate showed him that a life without her isn’t worth living. When he returns, he’s got a tough road ahead of him. But once he convinces Kate to help him find the real killer, it’s only a matter of time before all the old feelings come rushing back. The only question is, whether the new, hardened version of Kate can conquer the feelings she is convinced make her weak.
The author does a really good job putting me inside the characters. I believed in their feelings for each other and the paths that got them where they are. Daniel’s struggles with gin are especially well done and Kate’s fear of her love for him definitely rang true. The setting and the mystery surrounding the murder and resurrection men really set the tone as dark and bleak…. which really made the love between Daniel and Kate stand out as something good and tangible amidst their surroundings. The tension between them is well drawn and the sex satisfies.
This is the debut from this author, but I would definitely read from her again. If you like historicals, but want a break from the familiar light fare, give this one a try.
*ARC provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
A Dangerous Invitation
by Erica Monroe
Release Date: December 6, 2013
Publisher: Quillfire Publishing