on January 1st 1970
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Queen Victoria’s London is a teeming metropolis of pageantry, forbidden desire, and danger—especially in the East End, a hotbed of vice, witchcraft, and murder. What widow Lady Maggie Graham does there more than greases the rumor mill. When she agrees to wed the Viscount Langdon, there are those who would act upon their suspicions . . .
Experience has taught Lord Jamie well. He has seen his fair share of women behave inappropriately—enjoying risqué amusements in secret theatres, running about disguised in the seediest parts of the city—and then they call you vile names for coming to their rescue. And no woman is more shameless, more cunning, more intoxicating than Lady Maggie . . .
¬¬Reviewed by AnnMarie¬¬
When We Touch, A Graham Novel, is by Heather Graham and is a stand alone story.
It’s the story of widowed Lady Maggie Graham. In order to save her brother from bankruptcy, their uncle sets up a marriage for her with Viscount Langdon. He is a kindly gentleman, but also very old, and certainly not the kind of man Maggie would choose to marry. She knows of the man, and how kind and caring he is, and she just hopes that he will be happy with companionship and won’t want a sexual relationship. He has adored Maggie since she first came out into Society, and now that she is widowed, and the opportunity has been presented to him to marry her, he is unbelievably desperate for her to agree to the marriage.
When she meets him, she also meets his grand nephew, Jamie. They are instantly attracted to each other, but Maggie won’t allow anything to come of it because she intends to be a faithful wife. Jamie is annoyed that he is attracted to her because he thinks she is a disgusting gold digger, so he too is determined that nothing will come of any attraction. Besides, even if she wasn’t out to use his poor Great Uncle, he wouldn’t hurt the man for the world, so would still keep away from Maggie.
Maggie likes to help the poor, and often goes to the East End of London to help give out food to the poorest women. She also tries to teach them about contraception, anything to help them. Jamie follows her whenever she goes out. Initially he wants to make sure she isn’t meeting with lovers, or doing anything that will harm his Great Uncle. He is surprised to find that she spends much time helping others, but he also gets very angry the more he realises that she is putting her life in danger each time she goes to the East End. It’s bad enough that she is in a rough area, and at one point gets herself in trouble trying to debunk a supposed medium at a séance, but she is also frequenting the East End during the time of Jack the Ripper, where no women is safe on the streets.
Can Jamie keep her out of trouble, will she marry his Uncle, and how will both of them cope with that situation when it’s obvious that they have feelings towards each other. What of the charlatans that Maggie is trying to uncover, will she see sense and stay away from that cause. When she marries the Viscount she has to think of him first and foremost, not to mention his daughter, only a few years younger than Maggie who despises her. Time and attention needs to be paid within her soon to be new family. She really shouldn’t be putting herself in dangerous situations.
I did enjoy this story. The time it was set in was one of my favourite eras and I really enjoyed the Jack the Ripper story running through the latter half of the book. The book had both suspense, and romance, and of course there was the passionate feelings between Maggie and Jamie that were always close to boiling point. I loved the will they, won’t they aspect of the story and was happy with the way that the author dealt with their relationship. The historical facts around the telling of the Ripper story were a bonus, and I enjoyed how artistic license was taken when it came to a particular character in the story possibly being Jack.
The only negative thing I could say about the book is that it did seem a little slow in places, and at one point perhaps there seemed more emphasis on the suspense part of the book rather than the romantic. All in all though I was hooked until the end.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.