Griffin Blackmoor is a hero with a world of emotional baggage from his past. He blames himself for the death of his wife and son, and after returning from the Crimean War he's been slowly drinking himself to death. When the story opens, he's with a close friend who takes a bullet that Griffin is sure was meant for him (all that spying and skullduggery whilst in the war and all). Said friend dies, and the entire estate is entailed to a distant cousin, leaving the two younger sisters penniless. Griffin's guilt knows no bounds (and his drinking is even worse than before), and he makes arrangements for the elder sister to have a season and hopefully find a wealthy husband to care for her.
Well, this being a romance novel you know Griffin and Lady Anne are going to fall in love, and since there's a murder mystery afoot you know they're going to have to solve that too. Unfortunately, despite Griffin being a super-duper top-drawer spy of the highest order, it takes him a very long time to figure out who the baddie it. The reader, on the other hand, will figure it all out by page 50 or so.
Top that off with Griffin's overly melodramatic pity party (felt like I was being clubbed over the head with it all), this just wasn't a book that kept my interest. I finished it, but I was very glad it was over. The romance was nice enough when it did get going, but be warned - there's not going to be any hot sex to make up for the heavy-handed writing - wedding night behind closed doors.
While I do enjoy reading historical romances, I generally steer clear of what's being published in today's marketplace, so I have a hard time comparing this to what I'm accustomed to. Perhaps this style of writing is what's common for today's romances and would suit the every-day romance reader, your mileage may vary.
Reviewed for Amazon Vine.