A fun, sizzling, rollicking good read.
London, 1817. Julianna Harte is the daughter of a reformed high-class thief and the founder of a home for abandoned children in London who is desperate to raise funds to stop her home closing – so desperate, in fact, that she resorts to robbery. She breaks into the home of her neighbour, Alasdair Sharpe, to steal his valuable pearl, but there she meets her match in the form of Alasdair – handsome, domineering and – oh my goodness – naked. He offers a proposition: one night with him in return for the pearl. Julianna agrees, but it is her instant attraction to the man that drives her. From there, the story twists and turns through high passion and high drama, as Julianna wrestles with her conscience over her immoral act, and both characters struggle with their feelings toward the other.
I loved the fast pace of this book, and the detailed plot which kept me turning pages (I read it in one sitting). There’s a lightness to the writing – a sense of fun and energy – that is compelling. The setting of London at the time is a great backdrop, and characters are likeable. My favourite is Wiley, a young street-wise man who takes a shine to Julianna and proves himself to be more of a man than many of his upper-class counterparts. I also liked Julianna, for her moral struggle and her courage.
What stands out most in the book, though, is the very passionate encounters between Julianna and Alasdair. From the outset, the writing is extremely steamy (and there is some strong language)! Here’s one of my favourite moments:
He broke the kiss. “Julianna,” he said desperately, pressing kisses along her cheekbone and then her hairline. “Juli.” His voice was ragged. “You are the very air I breathe, the blood in my veins. All that is right in my world. If you ever do something so bloody stupid again, I will turn you over my knee and spank the living daylights out of you.”
Julianna burst into surprised laughter, but he could hear how shaky it was. “Promises, promises,” she whispered. “Perhaps you should teach me a lesson right now?”
Overall, I enjoyed the book and will be looking out for the next in the series.
The Devil’s Thief will be published in November; check Amazon for pre-order details.