This is the fifth and final book in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series, and it’s the story of Celia Sharpe who is the last member of her family to be wed. As per her grandmother’s edict, Celia and her siblings were to be married in order to gain their inheritance and she is the last holdout. Their parents had died rather mysteriously years earlier, and Celia had become a hoyden who preferred riding and hunting with her brothers than any more feminine pursuits. However, evidence has been surfacing throughout the series that the deaths may have been murder and a Bow Street Runner has been hired to investigate these rumours along with the suitors that are now on the short list for Celia to pick from.
Jackson Pinter is the man hired for the job, and he’s been smitten with Celia from the first moment even though he can’t let his feelings show – especially since he is the bastard son who was never acknowledged by his father. They manage to trade words and needle each other, but he’s determined that the three men he’s looking into aren’t right for Celia.
As they spend more time together and Celia remembers more details about the night her parents died, the two of them start to realize their feelings for each other. Celia begins to see the man as someone who is more than a match for her and under his buttoned up exterior is a smoldering passion for her. The investigation takes a dangerous turn and while on the hunt for the real murderer, they end up alone in a cabin overnight and she would be ruined for this if anyone found out. Their romance will have to be a secret until the killer is exposed and they can move on with their lives.
Ms Jeffries has done a good job of weaving the intrigue throughout the series and to keep the reader guessing about whodunit. It’s nothing all that new or outstanding, but it’s a solid read that was entertaining.