By: Anna Randol
Publisher: AVON Romance
Publication Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: August 28, 2012
As Avon romances usually go, this is yet another with a strong female lead, a male who can’t stand her (at first) and a romance that has been seen before. But what DOES allow this to stand apart from all the others is the very good plot involving some truly funny, fresh characters who will stick in the mind for a good, long time to come.
Madeline Valdan is basically a really ‘bad’ chick who has given her all to her country just for the government to turn around and leave her with practically no money to live on. You see, Madeline is part of a trio that was ready to hang from the gallows for their individual crimes when a man saved their lives and made them agents created to spy on the enemy. She, Ian Maddox (The Wraith) and Clayton Campbell (Cipher) have put themselves into some seriously dangerous places for the crown and now their services are no longer required. They are, in fact, being paid off but not handsomely. Although the men aren’t worried, Madeline wants more, so she decides to auction off her virginity to the highest bidder. What she mainly does is attend various parties to be seen by all the men who desperately want her so they will bid high and she can make a fortune. (Is she a virgin? You have to read to find out.)
What Madeline also needs is a bodyguard. Gabriel Huntford is a Bow Street Runner and spends his life capturing London’s worst criminals. But the one he really wants to find is the person who took his sister’s life. He believes that being around a courtesan like Madeline will help him get to her suitors, and an evil man he definitely needs to investigate.
Madeline walks into danger and Gabriel must save her from her own foolishness and overwhelming need to do anything within her power to land a massive bid. Of course, what Gabriel doesn’t know is her dangerous background and her ability to not only take care of herself but also anybody else who gets in her way.
Quill Says: The writer adheres to some of the ‘bodice ripper’ norms, but strays just enough with plot and character to make this romance stand out from the rest.