In Michelle Marcosí Gentlemen Behaving Badly innocence is a relative term. Mina Halliday, naughty by nature but as untouched as the...well, sheís a virgin. A virgin living in a house of ill repute, drawing men to the Pleasure Emporium like the proverbial spider to the fly. Her life, however, was not always as such.
Mina was left alone to fend for herself after her father was falsely accused as a jewel thief and sent to prison. She used her wits to master a plan, hoping to accomplish two things: escape destitution and find who is responsible for framing her father. Employment at Londonís Pleasure Emporium can help her achieve her goal. Mina is hired to write erotic letters to potential clients. The men are then motivated to seek out their pleasures thus giving Mina the opportunity to find the man accountable for the actual theft.
When a nobleman is murdered, constable Salter Lambrick finds a letter from the Emporium in the victimís possession. Further search leads Salter directly to Mina. After he dismisses her as a suspect Salter enlists her aid in finding the murderer. He doesnít leave Mina much choice, but because helping Salter will further her own wishes, Mina does so willingly. Which is exactly the way Salter wants her. Willing.
I loved the hero and heroine in this story. They were well matched in every way. The dynamic between them and the lively dialogue is the reason this book is a page-turner. Salter is as alpha as it gets in a romance novel without being offensive to either the heroine or the reader. He sees what he wants and he goes after it, or her as the case may be.
I also liked the way his treatment of Mina not only made her feel beautiful, it also made her try to view herself the same way. In short, they made each other a better person and isnít that what true love is supposed to do?
Well done, Ms. Marcos. I recommend Gentlemen Behaving Badly and anxiously await the next naughty adventure in the Pleasure Emporium novels.