“Confounded kittens,” she grumbled.
“Your eyes literally lit up. I’ve only read about that in books. I’ve never seen it happen.”
“They did not,” he protested, but they probably had. He was actually pretty excited about the prospect of seeing kittens.
― Cat Sebastian, The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes
After reading a couple of reviews on CBR14, this looked like it would satisfy my need for a charming, low-stakes romance. The delightful cover art didn’t hurt either. I burned through the first book and was sad to discover that I had to wait an entire month before the sequel was released.
The two books follow separate but related heroes: Percy, who enlists Kit’s help to bring justice to Percy’s scoundrel father, and Marion, who entrances a different scoundrel in assisting her with schemes of her own.
From the first scene with Marion and Percy posing for the portrait, I was hooked. I adore both of them so much. I really wish we could have seen them together more, but the books more than made up for it with the other relationships. I usually identify strongly with one or maybe two of the characters, but each of the main players was so well-written that I enjoyed the books far more than expected. They are all stupid, sincere, and self-delusional in their own way and I want to yank them all into a big hug, which they will enjoy but only one will admit to it.
The good: The dialogue made me smile more times than I can count. It is sharp and tender and just so damn good. A million kudos to Cat Sebastian for cutting out unnecessary exposition so that I can savor each conversation again and again.
The bad: I really don’t care about this period in history. That is not a knock against the books. It’s just not my jam. Oh, and it needs more scenes with Percy and Marian.