Five years ago Captain Chase Eversea had had to fight a great passion for his commanding officer's young and beautiful wife, Rosalind March. He had been sent to another post and done his best to forget her but when she reappears in his life it brings back a flood of old memories. Rosalind wants Chase's help finding her sister Lucy who was arrested and sent to Newgate prison before disappearing. Rosalind thinks Kinkaid, a friend of Chase's knows where she might be because the two had been "friends" but he is refusing to talk to her. Chase at first refuses to have anything to do with Rosalind's request but he cannot get her out of his mind. When his own investigation leads him to believe Kinkaid is hiding something and he discovers that Rosalind is not going to give up on her own he decides that he should help her. They enlist the aid of a street urchin named Liam who always seems to be on hand anyway.
The two start their investigation off at the museum where Chase can't help but feel as though the puppets are talking to him and they are shocked to discover that one of the paintings in the museum, the one that Lucy had directed them to, was donated by Kinkaid. Meanwhile the more time they spend together the more the old feelings are brought up and Chase and Rosalind have trouble keeping their hands off of each other. When Chase realizes that he wants to marry her Rosalind turns him down because she wants to make her own life decisions and do something for herself for once after a lifetime of taking care of her sisters. He wants her to be happy so he agrees but makes plans to leave the country and continues to help her weave through a complicated stream of clues. But when they finally accomplish their task Rosalind will have to decide if marrying and loving Chase is the one thing she could do for herself alone.
This is a book from Long's Pennyroyal Green series, of which I've read and reviewed The Perils of Pleasure and liked immensely. Like that book this book features a strong romance and relationship that is paralleled by an equally exciting and intriguing mystery story. The greatness of this book starts with two strong incredibly well developed characters in Rosalind and Chase. I especially liked that Rosalind was scared of being with Chase but thought that she was actually being brave by not getting remarried and how she had an epiphany at the end that by choice she could choose to be with him as well. I loved that Chase struggled with his feelings for Rosalind but it did not take him very long to realize he wanted to marry her even if it took him longer to realize why he wanted to marry her. And of course it was awesome that he cared for her so much he wanted her to make the decision for herself.
There was a lot of sparks between the two of them and their past was an interesting spin on things as they had been pining for each other but knew they could never be together. There were a few nice and creative sex scenes that worked well because they showed how he was opening her eyes up to new things. The whole mystery of what happened to her sister was crazy engrossing and I woke up early because I absolutely had to figure it out. Although there were hints and I put some of the pieces together I couldn't make them all fit and so I liked the nice surprise at what hadhappened to her. It did take up rather more of the story than I typically like but because Rosalind and Chase were able to spend so much time together and there searching led to them falling in love again so it was all good. There were numerous references to Perils of Pleasure and it would be rather annoying if I hadn't already read it.
Rating: Two wonderful characters who had a good well developed relationship with a very interesting little mystery going on.