One of the best historical romances in existence as far as I’m concerned. Yes, I hear the huffs of disapproval even from my little jungle lair. I know, I know... there are many other fantastic historicals which deserve the “best” status and I will be reviewing them too but this one... this one’s the best. So there. If you want to fly to Brunei to biff it out with me I’d be more than happy to take you on.
I should probably tell you something about the plot to justify this grand claim.
Famous novelist, Sara Fieding, is researching for her next book about the perils of gambling. She's standing in a London back alley listening out for snippets of dialogue when she witnesses a brutal attack on a stranger. She comes to the rescue by shooting one of the assailants and learns that the man she has rescued is Derek Craven, owner of the one of the most prestigious gambling clubs in the city.
After an initial show of reluctance, Derek agrees to let Sara conduct her research in his club and the chemistry builds from there. A jealous ex-lover and a stuffy fiance are added into the mix and stirred around, peppered with some nicely written sex scenes.
Derek’s one of those fabulously yummy tortured heroes. He’s a self-made man, having worked his way up from the gutter and has seen too much and done too much to the point he’s completely jaded. Sara’s a likable, realistically independent country mouse who’s small-village decency and respectability provokes Derek into wanting to be a better man. It’s a redemption tale through and through.
I love these characters. I love the tension that grows over the course of the story, rushing you to a happy ending so good you might need a cigarette and a bit of a snooze afterwards.
So there you have it. I won’t say any more. If I do, I’ll waffle on for ages.
Go read it. Now.
Ninja Rating: 5 throwing stars