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…
Source: ARC from Zebra (Kensington Books) via NetGalley
I love Quint! I mean, Sophie is a great heroine and all, dressing as a man, helping out women who have no one else to turn to, but Quint… Oh, Quint. I do love an intelligent hero, especially one who is considered a little odd by others because he has a few eccentricities. He also has one or two issues with his mental health, which have led him to believe he will soon become mad like his father before him. He’s a smart, intelligent, logical man who also happens to be frightened and doing his very best not to appear so.
Luckily for him Sophia is a rule-breaker and isn’t above breaking into his house to see how he’s getting along. Or to ask him to serve as a second in a duel. Or to actually teach her how a duel is supposed to go. Oh, and how to fire a gun. A bit of fencing wouldn’t go amiss either. And if he might kiss her every now and then, that would be good too.
I loved this book. I loved these characters, both separately and together. Yes, okay, so I might have liked a less conventional reason for why Sophie was against marriage, especially when it came to Quint, but it certainly fits with the times. Perhaps a few of the risks she takes during her investigations did verge on being a tad brainless, but most of the time she is methodical and clever and I enjoyed her exploits a lot. As for Quint, so smart, so sexy, so certain of his own doom. I loved how Sophie helps him without being overbearing or pitying, and how he never holds her back, even when he’s most worried about her. They make a formidable team and I loved reading about them.
This has definitely been my favourite of the series so far, although there’s more than a hint of some of Liz Carlyle’s early books (A Woman of Virtue in particular), and the woman-in-disguise turning up at brothels is certainly not new. But I don’t care. The characters are likeable – even loveable – the story is well told and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just hope a certain big Scotsman might show up in a book of his own someday…
The Lady Hellion is Out Now!
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