Lady Serena Ravenshaw fell for one of her father’s footmen and was told in no uncertain terms that they had no future together. Rather than be forced to marry some crony of her father’s, she ran away and chose to to become a prostitute. One evening, a drunken young gentleman felt pity for her and gave her his entire quarterly allowance, making it possible for her to buy her freedom and set herself up as one of the most famed courtesans in London. With the money she made from her affairs, she bought herself an inn and worked hard to become successful and prosperous, where she usually employs those in need of a new chance. Now even the Prince Regent occasionally comes to dine there.
Lady Serena, nicknamed the Siren by some, is also known as Thorn among her underworld connections, who have learned that she is a very dangerous woman to cross. Her vast network of informants is the reason her erstwhile saviour, Mr. Solomon Hathaway, comes to her inn. A valuable family heirloom, a set of ruby earrings believed to have belonged to Charles I, have been stolen, and his sister refuses to get married without them. Serena recognises him immediately and insists that he stay at the inn rent-free while she helps him track down the stolen goods, wanting to start repaying her vast debt to him.
Solomon, on the other hand, doesn’t recognise the disillusioned young woman he gave money to all those years ago until some time has passed. He’s still grieving the loss of his twin brother on the battlefield in Spain a year and a half ago. Having attained a degree in chemistry at Cambridge, he’s now more than happy to create one of a kind dyes for his uncle’s tailor-and-dye shop, even though all his family seem to believe him meant for greater things. Once he does recognise Serena, he’s impressed with how successful she’s become and can’t help but be smitten with her. He’s impressed by her hard work and is very grateful that she claims she’ll be able to recover his family’s stolen jewelry.
Little do Serena and Solomon realise they are about to be involved in all manner of drama.
Full review on my blog.