by Lisa Kleypas

June 2002
ISBN: 0-380-81106-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Sir Ross Cannon is a legend amongst the London populace. Chief Magistrate and investigator at Bow Street, his name is sufficient to strike terror into the heart of the most hardened criminal. His success at capturing the worst of the predators is equaled only by his cold demeanor and rigid personality.

So it is with enormous surprise that his colleagues learn he has hired a woman (and a young and lovely one, to boot) as his assistant. Lovely Sophia Sydney, a gentlewoman and daughter of a Viscount who has fallen on hard times, has but one goal in life – to ruin Ross Cannon.

Does she succeed? Well this is a romance, so you may draw your own conclusions! However, Lisa Kleypas always entertains with a richly-detailed and well-thought out plot – in this case the weaknesses of our hero and heroine are used against them with great cunning by the villains of the piece.

Sophia is a study in contrasts. Determined to achieve her goal, she is distraught to discover that Ross is not what she imagined, at all! Even worse, he’s making her head spin, her body throb, and her heart is yearning for unimaginable things! When she finally realizes where all this is leading, she throws herself into love with the same determination she brought to her original goal.

Ross, however, is the character who really came alive for me in this novel. Widowed, he has turned in on himself, denying his basic needs for human contact and practically living in an emotional vacuum. Sophie opens the windows of his soul and lets the fresh air come flying through – he changes before our eyes into a giving, and very passionate, lover!

Ms. Kleypas has brought the entire Victorian London scene to life with verve and accuracy! Although it is not one of my favorite historical periods, this novel is a true page-turner, and I enjoyed it. It is certainly recommended for any historical romance fans – especially those who are interested in the workings of Bow Street and it’s runners – the precursor to the British Police Force.

Reviewed in July 2002 by Celia.

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