This is book two in the Sins of the City series, set in Victorian England and it carries the tale forward that left the reader hanging at the end of the first book. I won’t go into too much detail on that one here, as you can read my review on that one if you’re interested. Nathanial Roy is a former lawyer, now crusading journalist who is helping his friend Clem with some legal battles. In the course of his work, he meets Justin Lazarus, who is a con artist and so-called seer of London. Nathanial is prepared to hate the man and everything he does, and while their first encounter is confrontational, the sexual tension between them spikes almost immediately between them.
“Justin Lazarus was without question a disgraceful fraud, but as his lips moved in silent prayer, Nathaniel could not help the thought that he looked like a glorious fuck.”
This attraction is something that Nathanial didn’t expect, having lost the love of his life to an accidental death a few years previously. For his part, Justin hates everything that Nathanial represents – the wealth and higher social standing are polar opposites of Justin, who has had to scrabble for his living. They both believe the worst of each other, exchanging angry words that belie the raw lust for each other.
But fate intervenes to bring the two men together again, when Justin realizes that the woman who came to him the previous year looking for her twins is likely connected to the situation Nathanial is helping Clem with. He shows up at Nathanial’s lodging, and their confrontational exchange turns into a wicked round of sexual frenzy that leaves them both convinced it should never happen again. They hate each other, after all. However, Justin has now placed himself in danger by getting involved in the Tallefer family mystery and his only ally is Nathanial.
The two men leave London for Nathanial’s family estate, hoping to lay low until the villain on the loose is captured. Justin isn’t sure he wants to spend time alone with Nathanial, but the two of them slowly learn to trust each other, along with enjoying the intimacy between them. Unfortunately, the trouble soon follows them, and the peaceful idyll in the country is shattered. They have to return to London, where the hunt for the true heir to the Tallefer estate has to continue before anyone else is killed.
Again, Ms Charles has done a wonderful job of weaving the romance and the mystery together in this book that is full of family intrigue, deceit and lost heirs. It’s a true enemies to lovers tale that leaves you satisfied that both men have found their way to trust and love. I’m looking forward to the third book to lift the fog of confusion that has shrouded the first two books, as the unsuitable heir is brought into the story.
(Side note – this was another audible book, and I was impressed again with the narration that added an extra dimension to the tale. I may have to try more audio books in the future.)