Reviewed by May
Jamie Montcrief isn’t a duke, but he is the eldest (bastard) son of one who was raised and loved by his father. So when Gisele Whitby stumbles across him in a seedy inn drunk and clearly hitting rock bottom she knows that she has the perfect man for the job. Both may be reluctant to work together, but neither can turn their backs on the innocent in need of rescuing, or let the man who caused Gisele to disappear all those years ago harm another.
“Let me see if I understand. You spied on me, set me up, stole my clothes, offered me a job in which I may or may not need to kill someone, steal something, or blow something up. Have I missed anything?”
“Please?” He wasn’t following.
“My manners have been remiss.” He watched in fascination as a glimmer of what looked like fear or possibly despair shadowed her features for the barest of seconds and was replaced by determination so quickly he wondered if he had imagined it. “I – we – need your help. Please.”
This story had an A+ beginning. We’re given a fantastically intriguing heroine who not only faked her own death to escape horrific abuse, but now works to help anyone needing to escape a desperate situation through an impressive network of likeminded individuals. She doesn’t want this new stranger’s help, but she can’t deny he’s the absolute perfect man to help her. Speaking of Jamie- oh Jamie. Drinking to drown all his many feelings and looking scruffy and like a real fixer upper he had immediate charisma and leapt off the pages and to life before my eyes. While his situation is bad, at heart he is a good man and I loved that about him. He’s a smexy one too.
“I don’t know who the hell you are or what the hell you want, but if you want to rob me, go ahead. For the only things I own you just burned in the fire. If you wish to ransom me, you’ll be dead of old age before anyone comes looking.” He turned flashing eyes on Gisele. “And you. If you want to try me out, I’ll have you every way you can think of and some you can’t.” He staggered to his feet and drew himself up to his full height, pinning Gisele motionless with his eyes. “Though I don’t like an audience. And I won’t share.”
The problem with this story and my biggest disappointment- is that it spiraled down into a C- ending. At the start I adored every page and texting Mandi details and quotes. The momentum, sparkling wit, fascinating details, and action that pulled me in dissipate into nothing. We’re given a half assed solution, an unremarkable path to romance, and a rushed ending.
Perhaps if there hadn’t been such an unbelievable feat to attempt (stopping a titled gentleman from ever remarrying), maybe if they had a truly good plan and weren’t winging it, or perhaps if there had been some changes and general alterations to the plot overall this could have remained a much stronger read. I was so interested in both characters, in their troubled pasts but ultimately the story didn’t deliver through the end.
I did enjoy the idea here, and I would love to see more cunning heroines who are out acting in the best interest of those who need help the most and generally being amazing and selfless as Gisele. I will definitely try this author out again, and hope next time I read a story that grows in how fantastic it is rather than declines and becomes a disappointment.