It takes a criminal to find one, and Nicholas Brentwood is just the man for the job. Reformed in more ways than one, the rough-around-the-edges Brentwood is a member of the Bow Street Runners, London's early nineteenth century fledgling police force. There's none better than Brentwood at catching the felons who ravage the city's streets, and there's nothing he loves more than seeing justice served.
Beautiful and beguiling, Miss Emily Payne is not the sort of miscreant Brentwood usually hunts down. When he is assigned as her bodyguard. he vows to protect her for her father's enemies, who will stop at nothing to carry out their mission fueled by greed and revenge.
All her life, Emily has longed for love, but it remains beyond her grasp. This season she's determined to find a husband, which is quite the undertaking with a hound-dog guardian like Brentwood watching her every step. If he would just give her some measure of freedom, she is sure she could win the heart of society's most eligible bachelor.
Emily's headstrong persistence, challenges Nicholas in ways he doesn't expect, but of one things he's certain -- of all the cunning criminals he's dealt with in the past, this time he's met his match.
This was such a fun read in a menacing sort of way! A Regency that packs a wallop. If you combined Dickens with Austen and added a dash of Sherlock Holmes you'd come close to describing Griep's writing style as her imagination runs rampant through the pages of this book. She certainly grabbed my attention -- from the complex, sinister plot to the rapid fire pacing, I could barely catch my breath. Just when I'd think things were calming down...they weren't! The author definitely reveals the darker side of Regency London in an all too realistic way. Honestly, my head was spinning and my voice was hoarse from shouting dire warnings at the oblivious heroine.
Miss Emily Payne could be a...well, real pain. When we first meet her she is sheltered, definitely spoiled and extremely obstinate. As circumstances change and real life infiltrates her protective bubble she stretches and grows into a woman of strength and compassion and....okay she stays obstinate but that's Nicholas's problem now.
Speaking of the hero -- insert swoon here. I was smitten the minute we met. Rough around the edges yes, but there's a noble heart beating in that manly chest. He believes in justice (though not always mercy) and is passionate about his work as a Bow Street Runner. That whole angle is utterly fascinating and at the roots of an organized police force in London. History in the making.
Brentwood's Ward has received rave reviews from a multitude of big name authors and I heartily agree with their assessment. I only wish the publisher had given the author another thirty pages or so because the ending did seem to come upon me in a rush. Some of the threads had to be tied up with dialogue after the fact rather than the reader actually witnessing them first hand.
All in all a brilliant (and edgy) blend of suspense and historical and I enjoyed every minute of the read.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Brentwood's Ward please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 25 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!