This book was recommended to me by one of blog followers. I loved it. It was a mix of historical romance and paranormal romance and I adore both. It’s been a while since I have read a historical romance by an author who has done her homework or really knows what she is doing. She had the vocabulary or lingo of the times back in the Victorian era down to a T. I so admire the way they spoke back then, especially the wealthy and educated. They made their conversations into a sort of poetry, even their sarcasm sounded pretty. This author captures it well. I felt like I was reading Pride and Prejudice but with a sexy paranormal twist.
Miranda Elliot has lived with guilt since the day she accidentally burnt down her father’s warehouse of goods and bankrupted him. She was cursed with the ability to start fire and she struggles to control it. She has tried to help her father out since the fire but her father just squanders money and uses her. He has made her into a thief. Now, he wants to marry her off to the highest bidder. He’s forcing her to marry London’s most nefarious nobleman, Lord Benjamin Archer.
Lord Benjamin Archer is deformed on one side of his body. From what, nobody seems to know except for a few of his associates and they aren’t talking. He hides behind a mask. The people of London are afraid of him and spread rumors and now he is being accused of a series of murders. Someone is killing his associates and trying to frame him.
A few years before, when he was out late one night, on his way to the man responsible for ruining his chances at a cure for his ailment, he spied a young woman dressed as a man. She was getting bullied by two street urchins and he feared she would become a victim of rape or worse so he intervened. He admired the way she handled herself. He discovered she was the daughter of the man he was going to see that night and decided the man would be allowed to live instead of dying as planned. For years, he could think of nothing else except for the young woman.
His business took him away from London but now he is back and offering her father a deal to marry her.
Once they are married, Archer does not consummate the marriage even though there are definite sparks flying between them. Archer does not want Miranda to see what his behind the mask. She knows there is more to it than that and knows that the murders have something to do with him so she starts investigating. She is sure that he is not the killer but wants to know who the real killer is and what her husband is hiding.
Although I enjoyed the mystery, I think it went on a little too long in this book to where I was getting tired of it instead of intrigued. It was the only thing that bothered me about this book.
I liked the secondary characters and hope to see some of the characters like Miranda’s feisty sisters in the subsequent books of the series.
I’m going to continue reading this series.