A Dangerous Proposal by Jillian Eaton (Bow Street Brides #2)
Released: July 25, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
I’m loving Jillian Eaton’s voice. The first book in this series, A Dangerous Seduction was a really fun read, and this one met all of my expectations as well. A few things to note: First, the heroine in this book was raped a few years prior to this book starting. It’s briefly relived in a flashback and it’s mentioned a few times as the heroine is still trying to move past it.
Also, Felicity, our heroine in this book, starts out as divorced. The author includes a note describing the extremely rare divorce process and how lengthy it would be. She notes that she sped up the process and glossed over some details for the sake of this book. If you are a stickler for this sort of thing in your historical romance – now you know.
Felicity has gone from being married and well respected in the ton, going to events, having a new wardrobe every season, to taking her two young children to a rented flat in the east end, and not knowing how she is even going to buy plates for them to eat off of. She is strong though – she isn’t whiny, or sad to miss material items. Her husband was cold and not a good father and while she was absolutely shocked that he asked for a divorce, she isn’t mourning her relationship with him. She has had a difficult past – she was raped by her friend’s husband and became pregnant with his child during her marriage. That man is now dead (this all happened in book one) and she loves her son more than anything else. She has moved past the rape as best she can, and is now trying to move past the divorce, with only a few friends left. One of them, being a woman named Scarlett and her husband, who is captain of the bow street runners (hero and heroine from book one).
Our hero is another bow street runners named Felix. Felicity first met him a year ago when he broke into Scarlett’s house and was stealing her jewelry. Felicity caught him, and the ordeal ended with a kiss. Felicity couldn’t believe it and has never forgotten him. Felix has changed his ways, and went from jewelry thief, to the man catching jewelry thieves. He is a charmer, stubborn, and such a sweet hero. I adored him. He has been keeping an eye on Felicity and when he notices that she moves to a very bad part of town, he makes his presence known and tells her he wants to keep her safe. He also admits that he wants to court her. Felicity, although secretly yearning for him, will not hear of it – as she is already ruined in society and has two kids to raise and barely a roof over her head. But Felix won’t leave her alone and an adorable courtship unfolds.
I love a courtship in a romance book. A romance that isn’t rushed (I’ve read a lot of books under 200 pages recently), a hero who doesn’t give up. Who takes the heroine on walks. Who makes an effort to get to know her…outside of the bedroom. Who takes her on a date. Who introduces himself to her mother. Felix does all of this.
“What are you doing here, Mr. Spencer?”
“I’ve brought ye breakfast.” He glanced down at his right hand and for the first time Felicity noticed he was carrying a basket filled with all sorts of delicious looking pastries, from blueberry scones to buttery saffron buns.
“Why would you do such a thing?” she asked even as her mouth watered.
He looked at her oddly, as if the answer should have been obvious. “I’m courting ye, Miss Atwood.”
He has his romantic side, but he is also a bit of a stinker
“Mr. Spencer!” This time Felicity punctuated her words with a hard stomp of her foot.
Felix blinked. “What the devil ‘ave I done now?”
“You’re still staring.” More color flooded her cheeks. “At – at my bosom.”
So he was. “And where else would I look?”
Felicity tries to fend him off and he keeps showing up. He gives her a bit of a hard time, and always has a comeback when she tries to shoo him away. He doesn’t let her hide behind her divorce – and her situation in life, and I found that romantic.
I adored Felicity too. She is just lovely – she has her moments of breaking down because her life really is falling apart around her. She also has a hard time being physically intimate at first with Felix due to her past rape. But she allows Felix to help her, and while her greatest fear is that he will leave her one day, she eventually lets her heart lead the way. She is a really fun heroine.
“You are not a thief any monger. You are a Runner. Which means you cannot just go around stealing things.”
His grin turned wolfish as he wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her snugly against his side, breathing in the alluring scent of her hair. She smelled of honeysuckle, and night, and promises unfulfilled.
“I stole ye, didn’t I?” he whispered into her ear.
She pushed her hand half-heartedly against his chest. “You have not stolen anything.”
“I beg to differ.” He dipped his head to nuzzle the slender curve of her neck. “Ye want me, Miss Atwood. Ye can admit it.”
Highly recommend this one. The reason there is a minus attached to the A below, is that there is a very brief suspense moment at the end of the book that felt out of place. Otherwise, I loved every second. Can’t wait for another one.