From the back cover:
Forbidden desire and a deadly chase...
Darcy O'Keefe lives by her wits, picking pockets on the streets of Charlestown, Massachusetts, in order to survive. But when she chooses a well-heeled--and extremely handsome--gentleman as her next mark, her keen mind and quick reflexes fail her. Caught in the act, Darcy finds herself blackmailed into joining Aiden Terrell in a quest that has led him from the Caribbean to Great Britain and now to America. Aiden's daring scheme is to set himself up as a pickpocket bait to entrap a killer who murders for sport. As they comb the city's backstreets, Darcy can't decide which frightens her more--the prospect of finding the man they seek, or falling victim to the dangerous charms of Aiden himself...
And my review:
I've enjoyed books by this author before, so when I found this book at my local thrift store, I immediately snapped it up. All in all, I have mixed feelings about this book.
**Warning, spoilers ahead!**
First, the stuff I enjoyed. As with all of her books, Lafoy has created vivid characters who feel like they actually exist. They have their flaws, but are not overly flawed as to be unlikeable. The heroine is a spirited (not shrewish) and strong heroine. While she is definitely feminine, so can take care of herself without being a ballbuster about it. That's a very difficult balance to strike, but Lafoy does it well. The hero is your standard tortured soul, but also more than that. I felt that the author was very good at showing what drove the characters, what made them who they were.
The mystery was also well-written and well-paced. I kept eagerly turning the pages, wanting to find out what would happen next.
Now the stuff that I didn't like. The mystery/suspense storyline was very gory. If you're at all squeamish, you might want to skip this book. (You might also want to stop reading my review!) Not only does it involve murder, but the villain mutilates his victims horribly (even decaptiates some of them), sends body parts from them to the hero, and even cooks and eats some of them. It's definitely not "fluff" reading. I felt quite ill at times.
The romance was a bit unsatisfying for me. First off, the hero kept making innuendoes that were supposed to be sexy, but instead came off as sleazy. It was just overdone, and really got on my nerves after a while. Honestly, I think a heated look can do more for sexual tension than a cheesy line. And a lot of the hero's lines were so corny that any real-life woman would have either kicked him where it counts or laughed in his face.
I also felt that the way the hero and heroine enter into a sexual relationship felt very cold and calculated. The heroine basically agrees to become the hero's mistress. Yes, that's par for the course in many historical romances, but their discussion and decision of beginning an affair felt so calculating. I would have preferred for them to be swept away by passion, with the future uncertain, rather than a "I want you, you want me, so let's go do it already, and we'll split up when we get sick of one another."
The last thing that really bugged me was that the heroine, who up until the end was a strong, independent woman, decides that she's willing to remain the hero's mistress until he decides to end the relationship. She's willing to exist on crumbs, and not demand any commitment from the hero. This was three pages from the end! It was just so out of character. The heroine had never had any difficulty going after what she wanted, but when it came to the hero's love, she was willing to live with whatever little he planned to give her? It really bugged me.
In conclusion, I'm not sorry I read this novel, but it won't be one I keep to reread. I think Lafoy has written better books. Check out Jackson's Way and Come What May.