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Archive for the ‘Victorian’ Category

Copyright: 2007

Pages: 320 (hardback edition)

Setting/Type: Victorian/Straight Romance

Grade: B

The first kiss occurred in a dimly-lit hallway on the upper floor of Elwin Hastings’s grand house. Louisa never saw it coming… Of course, Anthony Stalbridge couldn’t possibly have had romantic intentions. The kiss was an act of desperation, meant to distract the armed guard about to catch the pair in a place they did not belong. After all, Louisa Bryce was no man’s idea of an alluring female in her dull maroon gown and gold-rimmed spectacles. The only thing the two interlopers have in common is a passionate interest in the private affairs of Mr. Hastings – a prominent member of Society whom they both suspect of hiding terrible secrets. Now, thrown together by their ruse, Anthony and Louisa are united in their efforts to find the truth. Each has a reason for the quest. Anthony’s fiancee was said to have thrown herself into the Thames – but Anthony has his own suspicions. Louisa – whose own identity is shrouded in layers of mystery – is convinced Hastings has a connection to a notorious brothel. But bringing Hastings to justice will be more perilous than they anticipate – and their partnership will be more heated than either expects. For it is not only Anthony’s curiosity that Louisa arouses, and the two share something else: a thrilling attraction to danger…

Except for the name of the heroine which is rather conventional compared to other books books of this author, The River Knows promises solid, good and old-fashioned Quick entertainment. Louisa has found her niche in a time where most women could choose between a job in a factory, needle- and housework, working as a governess or joining the amoral world of the red light district. Her will to survive and not becoming a victim of a deranged “gentleman”made her hide in plain sight as a companion to an eccentric, modern thinking older woman. Secretly, she also found a secondary job as reporter for a sensational gossip magazine where she exposes vile machinations from well-known members of the haute ton. Anthony, too, is a typical Quinn hero. Hurt in the past, decent to the bone, good-looking and sensitive, he instantly discovers that there’s more to plain and boring looking Louisa.

The suspense plot of the story delivers nothing new, but frankly, I didn’t care. I was so happy to have a new Quick book with no paranormal elements in my hands that I gobbled it up in one evening flat. Either you like Quick’s style or you don’t, there’s not much space for anything in between. The dialog is witty, the characters grew on me, the love between them is convincing and the ending gives justice to everyone good or bad. So if you are looking for a comfortable read, but nothing too exciting, have a look at this one.

By the way, isn’t the cover of the British hardcover version gorgeous?

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