Published by Zebra on June 26, 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
What sort of lady doesn’t make her debut until the age of thirty-two? A timeless beauty with a mysterious past—and a future she intends to take into her own hands...
Lady Euphemia Marlington hasn’t been free in seventeen years—since she was captured by Corsairs and sold into a harem. Now the sultan is dead and Mia is back in London facing relentless newspapermen, an insatiably curious public, and her first Season. Worst of all is her ashamed father’s ultimatum: marry a man of his choosing or live out her life in seclusion. No doubt her potential groom is a demented octogenarian. Fortunately, Mia is no longer a girl, but a clever woman with a secret—and a plan of her own.
Adam de Courtney’s first two wives died under mysterious circumstances. Now there isn’t a peer in England willing to let his daughter marry the dangerously handsome man the ton calls The Murderous Marquess. Nobody except Mia’s father, the desperate Duke of Carlisle. Clearly Mia must resemble an aging matron, or worse. However, in need of an heir, Adam will use the arrangement to his advantage.
But when the two outcasts finally meet, assumptions will be replaced by surprises, deceit by desire—and a meeting of minds between two schemers may lead to a meeting of hearts—if the secrets of their pasts don’t tear them apart.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Lady Euphemia Marlington – Mia – has spent half her life prisoner of a harem, and a mere few months after her return to England, her father, the Duke of Carlisle, is anxious to marry her off to basically anyone who will have her; given her sullied reputation, the candidates are scarce indeed. The Duke will even settle on the Murderous Marquess, Adam de Courtney. Adam has nothing to lose, and with his three daughters, he does need an heir. Neither Mia nor Adam had expected to feel such a blazing attraction to each other, and they quickly agree to a marriage of convenience with necessary benefits. However, Mia has a hidden agenda.
The outrageous and original premise immediately caught my eye, and DANGEROUS lives up to its promise. Mia and Adam are not your typical historical romance couple: she’s thirty-two, while he is five years older; Mia is very enterprising sexually, and Adam is not the customary mountain of a man, which was most refreshing; they also act like mature adults. I found the timeline at times a tad confusing, especially at the beginning, and the seventeen years are more like nineteen. Apart from some small inconsistencies, and a few lexicographical stumbles, there was a little French – which for once was decent enough – and while I know this is a minor detail, it bothered me. I cannot comprehend the invention of an acute accent on the letter “i” in French; it never occurs, and since the character of Martin Bouchard (not Martín!) features prominently, it was a constant distraction to me.
There was naturally a misunderstanding caused by Mia not telling Adam her secret, and I’m not quite sure why she didn’t at least partly tell him the truth; thankfully, the muddle was taken care of quickly. The chemistry between Mia and Adam is blistering from the onset, and there is a lot of action in the bedroom – and on most available surfaces – but the love scenes are beautifully done. The other sort of action – the adventures dealing with Mia’s secret – comes late in the book, as does much explaining between Mia and Adam, which I welcomed as well.
DANGEROUS is the first book in The Outcasts, and this was made obvious as several characters appear prominently in the story, and a colourful bunch they are. Ms. Spencer’s writing skills are excellent, as demonstrated in the detailed and numerous descriptions, which make a long-gone era come to life, and in the clever dialogues. DANGEROUS is Minerva Spencer’s debut offering, and a laudable one it is.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.