The book opens with six former Cambridge school chums, including one Sebastian Stanwick, as they are preparing toast one of their former friends who met an untimely death at the hands of his wife. Apparently, he had been a lousy husband, having continued with his paramours after he married and his wife got tired of his lifestyle. At any rate, the remaining six decide then and there to vow never to get married, lest their wives find reason to knock them off.
Then, the storyline moves into one of the most convoluted family tree lines I have ever read. But, I am assuming that if one has read the first seven books in this "Tenacious Trents" series, then this family tree would be more clear. At any rate, it seems our heroine, Helena Mirabelle Trent and her twin sister, Genvieve and other sister, Juliette, have only lately come to the attention of the Trent family due to their father having married more than one wife at a time and these three are half-sisters to the rest of the Trents.
This story doesn't actually involve the entire family except that they are mentioned from time to time. It seems that before the three sisters were "found" by the Trents, they lived in France and had much more freedom than their English counterparts. Juliette was/is a ballerina and Helena was an actress. Helena is determined to get out from under the stifling life she has in London under the protection of her half-brothers and return to Paris and take up acting once again. She is, after all, twenty-two years old, and has quite a bit of acting experience. She needs some money of her own and has only managed to save 20 lbs. Once she learns there is a somewhat respectable gaming hell - Dagger's Haven - where she can go win some money, she puts on one of her acting costumes - pants, waistcoat, jacket, wig, hat and off she goes - very well disguised as a young man.
Helena is quite a good gambler because she can count cards. Sebastian Stanwick, owner of Dagger's Haven, is already a little suspicious of the clean shaven, slightly built young man but doesn't think too much about him until the evening is over and he realizes the young man is a card sharp - not a cheater, but a card counter. Sebastian pulls what he believes to be a young man aside to call him to task. Helena takes great offense and challenges him to a sword duel. She's actually quite good but toward the end, Sebastian slices her in the thigh and at that point realizes she is a female.
Then, away to her home Helena is taken. where the doctor is called, etc. Sebastian refuses to leave the house until he is sure she is out of the woods, so to speak. Nobody is more surprised than Sebastian when two of the Trent brothers arrive at the home in the morning and begin to inquire about Helena. He knows the family but had no idea that Helena was their sister. Sebastian is excused for his part in the fiasco - somewhat. But, Sebastian can't get Helena off his mind. Helena wants her 100 pounds that she won at the gaming hell so she and Genvieve can go to Paris. Sebastian drags his feet about giving it to her not sure what his feelings are and how he feels about her taking off to Paris. Things get even more crazy once they are caught kissing. Helena is still determined to go to Paris. Sebastian wants to take care of her and protect her. Who will give in or give up in order for the HEA?
I found this to be a very simple, semi-interesting story. Although the first chapter set up what could have been an amazing storyline with the friends making their vows, the story itself was somewhat of a let-down. Not really any angst or anything super special - the novella was 134 pages - in my opinion, enough pages to have done a lot more with the story. And, oh yes - there were some grammatical errors - I would be happy to let the author know where these errors are if she's interested in making corrections.
on 17 July 2015
The story starts with 6 friends talking after the funeral of a friend who was murdered by his wife. All of the men vow not to marry! Sebastian Stanwick owner of Dagger’s Haven (we’ve met him in previous Trent books) is one of the six.
Helene Mirabelle Trent wishes to go back to Milan but only has £20, so not enough to travel & live off. Donning her male attire she goes to Daggar’s Haven after finding a voucher Drake Acker, her brother in law, discarded.
Helene draws the attention of Sebastian as she wins, he realises that she’s counting cards. He asks her to go to his office, things get out of hand & she challenges him to a dual. This takes place in the gambling den & Helene has her thigh cut by Sebastian.
A good short story & the happy ending’s soon resolved. I look forward to finishing the series with Genvieve’s story, also I now want to know what happens to the other 5 gentlemen who vowed not to marry. I’m really enjoying the series & will definitely re read
A few proof reading errors but less than in the other books. These don’t detract from the story, in fact kindle books all seem to have more errors than printed books.
on 10 September 2014
Jane Charles relates really intriguing, excellent stories.
I can only surmise they are self published.
They obviously appeal to her mainly North American female readers.
Sadly she can't spell, doesn't have a grasp of the use of certain prepositions, tenses, misuses and obviously doesn't understand the meaning of many of the long words she uses. Her grammatical errors are sometimes deplorable.
Used, I assume, in order to impress her readers of the degree of her intellect .
She needs to 1) invest in a decent dictionary. 2) employ a literate editor.
A careful re-reading of Jane Austin and The Bronte sisters novels might remind her of proper English language usage.
I realise I'm a pedant, but these stories truly require much more careful editing.