The first kiss occurred in a dimly lit hallway on the upper floor of Elwin Hastings’s grand house. Louisa never saw it coming....
Of course, Anthony Stalbridge couldn’t possibly have had romantic intentions. The kiss was an act of desperation, meant to distract the armed guard who was about to catch the pair in a place they most definitely did not belong. After all, in her dull maroon gown and gold-rimmed spectacles, Louisa Bryce was no man’s idea of an alluring female. Clearly, the only thing a catch like Anthony Stalbridge had in common with a wallflower like Louisa was a passionate interest in the private affairs of Mr. Hastings - a prominent member of Society whom they both suspect of hiding terrible secrets. Now, thrown into each other’s arms by their ruse, Anthony and Louisa are united in their efforts to find the truth.
Each has a personal reason for the quest. Months earlier, Anthony’s fiancée threw herself into the Thames—or at least, that is the version whispered in London’s social circles. Anthony believes someone else may have had a hand in her death—and a murderous one at that. Louisa, whose own identity is shrouded in layers of mystery, is convinced that Hastings has a connection to a notorious brothel. When Anthony successfully cracks Hastings’s hidden safe and discovers highly incriminating evidence, it appears that both their instincts were correct.
But Hastings is hiding far more than jewels and ledger books. Bringing him to justice will be more perilous than Louisa and Anthony anticipate—and their partnership will be more heated than either expects. For the two share a thrilling attraction to danger, and it is not only Anthony’s curiosity that Louisa arouses.
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Amanda Quick is the pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz, the author, under various pen names, of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers; there are more than 35 million copies of her books in print. She lives in Seattle.From AudioFile:
In this romantic thriller, a litter of suspicious suicides and murders is wrapped around an unlikely love affair in Victorian England. Louisa Bryce, a wallflower who is also a scandal-sheet writer in secret, is investigating blue blood Alwin Hastings, suspected of owning a notorious brothel. Handsome, rich Anthony Stalbridge is also probing Hastingss well-disguised private life. He believes Hastings was responsible for the suicide of his fiance. Katherine Kellgren builds Louisas character slowly but with intrigue as she falls in love with Stalbridge. Kellgren artfully portrays the hero with masculine intensity, and oozes evil as Hastings and the homicidal brothel madam, Victoria. The predictable climax--Hastingss downfall and Louisa and Stalbridges declarations of love--takes too long in coming, but Kellgren keeps the excitement red-hot until the end. M.T.B. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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