Gemma Murphy has been following Catullus Graves and his friends for some time now. After first seeing him in the Northwest Territory of Canada, she now finds herself on a boat, to England. A reporter, she loves to investigate, and she knows Catullus and his crew have many secrets.
Catullus is a member of The Blades of the Rose, a secret organization that protects Sources, those items that hold magical power throughout the world from the evil Heirs of Albion. The Heirs now have the primal source, and have plans to use it for world domination. The Blades are hot on their trail, and are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to stop them.
The first time Catullus set eyes on the red haired, freckled beauty in Canada, it stirs him. A genius inventor, Catullus has a very scientific approach when it comes to romance, which means he isn't quite the ladies man. Soon Catullus becomes aware that Gemma is following them, and when the Heirs spot her with the Blades, her life becomes endangered. She wants to prove to the Blades she is a competent fighter, and she wants to break down Catullus's serious ways, and show him just how wicked romance can be.
Stranger is the fourth book in Zoe Archer's The Blades of the Rose series and held much anticipation for me to discover Catullus whom we meet in great detail in book three, Rebel. Catullus is reserved, a bit shy and awkward when it comes to women. He loves fine waistcoats and is extremely smart. His match, Gemma is just the kind of woman who can break him out of his mold. She has spunk and spirit, yet she is very kind and from the start understands who this man is. Although Catullus is black, she never once sees his skin color as a deterrent. I absolutely adored their romance. The uncertainty Catullus has in the bedroom is very endearing, and once he gains confidence - watch out.
The adventure in this one weaves in the King Arthur legend, as the Blades rush to prevent the Heirs from using the primal source. I didn't love the adventure as much as the previous books. Besides an evil form of King Arthur being resurrected, for some time Catullus and Gemma find themselves in Otherworld, an alternate fairy world. It just didn't grab me like the other books did. I did thoroughly enjoy the banter between Catullus and other blade members Bennet Day and Nathan Lesperance and their spouses. The pages where all of them are working together are some of my favorite. And of course the pages with the hot smex in a tree house.
After finishing this series, four books in four months, I can say they have been a joy to read. With the mixture of historical, paranormal and adventure, Zoe Archer brings something different to these books. I really hope we get more Blades in the future, and Catullus has just made his way onto my boyfriend list.