Monday, March 14, 2011

Never Trust a Rogue

Never Trust a Rogue by Olivia Drake 308

Lindsey Crompton is the season's richest heiress and her mother is determined to see her middle daughter married off to a wealthy member of the ton after her eldest daughter made a disappointing match. But Lindsey has no intention of marrying a duke, or anyone for that matter, as she wants to open up a detective agency and help people investigate crimes and other problems. Thane Parker, the Earl of Mansfield, was orphaned and raised by his coldly judgmental uncle, who was never pleased by anything Thane did. Eschewing his responsibilities to his title he joined the army and made a name for himself as a war hero and when he returns to London he is toasted by all... except Lindsey. Lindsey does not buy into the hype surrounding Lord Thane, especially when she sees him sneaking around with a serving maid. When a serial killer begins targeting servant girls and leaving their bodies in Hyde Park, and then she finds out that one of the maids in his house has gone missing, Lindsey can't help but wonder if Thane is the killer. However, her fears about his past times don't prevent her from being attracted to the handsome earl.

What she does not know is that Thane is helping Bow Street investigate the murders and that all of his suspicious behavior is easily explained away. His chief suspect in the case, Lord Wrayford, is courting Lindsey, with her mother's whole hearted approval, and this worries Thane. Lindsey is outspoken and makes no pretense towards liking Thane, but he is drawn to her and can't stand the idea of something happening to her if Wrayford is indeed the murderer. He blackmails her into agreeing to an engagement with him in one months time; she is not happy at all as she suspects he is the murderer, but he believes it's the only way to keep her safe from Wrayford. She quickly realizes that the rumors of Thane's dissolute behavior have been much exaggerated and the more time she spends with him, the more she thinks that there is no way he could possibly be the murderer. But time is running out as more servants go missing and as Lindsey's mother becomes more determined than ever to make her daughter a duchess. Thane and Lindsey must discover who the real murderer and circumvent her mother's machination in order to be together.

I liked Lindsey however I couldn't help but view her desire to open up a detective agency to be rather childish and way inappropriate. A woman running a business in those days was almost unheard of and a detective agency would have been nearly impossible. Anyone who didn't know this had some major growing up to do, and Lindsey was not even a very good detective to begin with and it struck me as a little girl who wants to be a ballerina when she grows up; very immature. However, I was still disappointed at the speed with which she gave up this grand dream and did not really fight at all once she realized she was in love with Thane. Her investigative attempts came across as amateurish at best and rather ridiculous at worst. Thane was a more interesting character because he had a really past and life experience that made him more realistic in his expectations. His involvement in the murder was also hard to believe as I can't imagine an earl would have ever volunteered for such a task. The two spent plenty of time together, enough to make their relationship believable and for me to really get a sense that they worked well as a couple and that they really were in love.

There was very little steam in the book and some brief sex near the end of the book that was just rather bland. The strangling murder was a little overdrawn and rather superficial even though it took up quite a lot of the space I did not feel like it was overwhelming the love story. Lindsey and Thane had some great time together that dealt with the crime, but it was not the only thing they had in common. I am not going to give anything away, but I will say that I enjoyed never being really sure who the murderer was and being surprised by the resolution. I loved the relationship these two had with their family members. Lindsey's mother was the hatable matchmaking mamma who would stop at nothing to ensure a member of the ton for her daughter. For some reason I always like these type of women as they really add some tension to a book, while at the same time being likable because they're just doing what they think is best for their daughter. Thane also had an interesting relationship with his family members and I liked to read about his feelings about them evolved and Olivia's influence over these changes. The writing was incredibly fast and easy and I got through the book really quickly.

Rating: A decent book that was fun and easy and had a nice little mystery, but really nothing special in any sense.

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