(Jewels of the Ton, #2)
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Her Mysterious Past is the Best Revenge…
Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.
Only He Can Offer Her a Dazzling Future…
Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London.
He knows he’s putting his life on the line…
To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what makes her his heart’s desire.
The second book in Shana Galen’s Jewels of the Ton series is a fast-paced and entertaining blend of intrigue, action and a sensual romance.
This is Fallon, a beautiful, much sought after courtesan. Rumours abound about her true identity, so much so that she is dubbed the Marchioness of Mystery.
This is Warrick Fitzhugh, ex-spy for the Home Office, determined to track down the traitor who is threatening the lives of his fellow Diamonds in the Rough, spies who had provided the information Wellington had needed to win at Waterloo.
and when their worlds collide…danger, intrigue and a passion neither expects are bound to follow!
I love Fallon because, despite her diminutive stature, she is a formidable lady, more than able to take care of herself in a sticky situation. She’s a strong minded and independent woman but also vulnerable because of fears that her true identity may one day be discovered. Born in the slums of London, the daughter of a pickpocket and a whore, she knows should this become known the life she has built for herself will be destroyed.
She did not take any of this for granted. It could all be taken away from her with the snap of a finger if anyone ever found out who she really was.
Warrick is the third son of the Earl of Winthorpe but his father had disowned him when he chose to become a spy. His father also blames him for the death of his younger son, Edward, who followed Warrick into the military. I admire Warrick for being a man of principle and seeing that the job he was doing was far more important than his father’s opinion of him.
Warrick couldn’t regret his decision to become a spy, even if it meant his father was ashamed of him. Some things were more important than the Earl of Winthorpe’s approval, though his father doubtlessly disagreed.
I also understand his desire to reconcile with his father and be part of a family again.
Warrick didn’t emerge unscathed from the war. He experiences terrifyingly realistic flashbacks to the battlefield and Ms Galen’s descriptions are so vivid that I felt as if I was there with Warrick experiencing all his feelings of guilt and revulsion.
As they are both strong-minded and stubborn, you know sparks will fly when they first meet and I love the scene where Fallon unexpectedly discovers Warrick in her bed. Of course, he knows all her secrets and is confident that he can use the threat of disclosure to force her to help him. What he doesn’t expect is to be completely outmanoeuvred!
She put a hand on her hip. “And I suppose if I do not give you what you want then you will reveal my secret.”
“It’s called blackmail, and yes, that is generally how it works. Now that we both know the rules…” “Oh, I make the rules, Mr. Fitzhugh.” She sidled closer to the bed. “After all, we are in my bedchamber.”
“I…” He trailed off when she dropped her shawl on the floor beside the bed and, lifting her skirts, crawled onto her satin coverlet.”
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Courtesan rule number one,” she whispered, crawling toward him. “Don’t talk.”
His arms dropped from behind his head and he sat forward, looking rather alarmed.
I love a story where the hero is the besotted one and the heroine is the reluctant one. Warrick is determined to marry Fallon but she feels unworthy of him. At heart, she knows she is living a lie and will always be a street rat.…too soiled, too undeserving…but Warrick sees who she truly is and helps her recognise her self-worth.
“When I look at you, I see a woman who is beautiful, brave, and resourceful. I see a woman who’s not afraid to fight. I see a woman who has more strength and resilience than ten of her so-called betters.
In turn, Fallon is the anchor Warrick needs to help him forget the horrors of war.
There is plenty of exciting action as Warrick and Fallon follow the trail which they hope will lead to the identity of the traitor. This forces them to work together thus creating delicious sexual tension culminating in some steamy love scenes.
My one criticism is that I found the ending very abrupt. It was obviously a case of setting up Lily’s story but I wanted to see more of Warrick and Fallon together. That said, I am looking forward to reading Lily’s book, Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend.
MY VERDICT: If you are looking for an entertaining romance with intrigue and action, then you will definitely enjoy this.
REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: WARM
Read April 2016
Jewels of the Ton series (click on the book covers for more details):