Beatrice Lockwood, one of the intrepid ladies of Lantern Street, is in the middle of a case when her past comes back to haunt her. Joshua North, a former spy for the Crown, has come out of a self-imposed retirement after a disastrous case that left him scarred and forced to use a cane. He is hunting the villain who is blackmailing his sister.
This is book two of The Ladies of Lantern Street, but I don’t think it was a problem not to have read the first book. My problem with this was it really didn’t capture my interest much. I have read some Amanda Quick paranormal romance books in the past, however, and this was similar to those in many ways. Much like Nora Roberts, there seems to be recycled plots and characters in a lot of the books by this author. After all, she writes as Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle – you’re bound to repeat things after awhile.
Beatrice is an employee of the Flint and Marsh Agency, working as a paid companion to wealthy clients that feel something terrible may happen to them. She has psychic abilities, and narrowly escaped death after her previous employer was murdered. During one of these jobs, she encounters Joshua North when he assists her with a troublesome young man. Beatrice is a spunky woman who carries a pistol in her garter belt (see book cover), and feels that she would have taken care of the situation without his aid so the two of them are at odds with each other.
Joshua is a scarred hero, needing a cane after being injured in the line of duty. He’s completely no-nonsense, and has no patience for any kind of woo-woo magical stuff. But his sister Hannah is being blackmailed by someone and he believes that Beatrice may be the one behind this so he hires her as a companion to accompany them to a house party in the country. Hannah had been a client of Beatrice’s old employer, so naturally Joshua suspects Beatrice must have something to do with it. But once they are ensconced in the country where their host has a collection of Egyptian artifacts, it becomes clear that there is more evil afoot than they realized.
There was just so. much.talking – lots of telling, not showing what was going on. I didn’t feel any kind of romantic desire between Beatrice and Joshua; they were perfectly nice characters but the heat and the chemistry was missing. I’m not exactly sure what the title has to do with the story – the reader learns all of Beatrice’s secrets at the start of the book. Overall, it fell flat for me and I was glad to be done with it.