To redeem her family’s disgraced name, Lady Louisa Scranton has decided to acquire a proper husband. He needs to be a man of fortune and highly respectable in order to restore both her family's lost wealth and reputation. She enters the Marriage Mart with all flags flying, determined to find the right bachelor.
But Louisa’s hopes are dashed when the Bishop of
Hargate drops dead at her feet—and she is shockingly accused of murder!
Soon, Louisa’s so-called friends begin shunning her, because the company
of a suspected killer is never desirable in polite society.
problem comes to the ears of Detective Inspector Lloyd Fellows, by-blow
of the decadent Scottish Mackenzie family and an inspector for Scotland
Yard. He has shared two passionate kisses with Lady Louisa–and vows to
clear her name. For not only does he know she’s innocent, he recognizes
he’s falling for the lovely lady.
Fellows is Louisa's only hope
of restoring her family's honor—and it is he alone who intrigues Louisa
in a way that may be even more scandalous than murder…
Comment: Here we are again, for another year of the TBR challenge. Once more, the theme for January is short stories. I've chosen this one because not only am I a fan of the series, but I've heard many good things about it and I was curious, so in reality, three reasons to read it. I was hoping to see a good story, so I didn't have to think about which story to pick.
For those who know the Mackenzies, Fellows is a character that seemed a villain in the first book but we find out what was behind such animosity and now he is someone we want to see more often. His story starts when he is called about a crime and there he meets again Lady Louisa Scranton, sister to Isabella from book #2. They have shared looks and kisses in the past and now that she's in danger, he only wants to help her, but Louisa isn't indifferent and their relationship changes...
The main thing I looked for in this story was to see Fellows give in to his feelings, because he always looked professional, distant and even a bit arrogant, all traits apparently shared with his half brothers, but I wished I could see some change if he was falling in love. This happened a bit too fast for my taste but when one thinks about the time that has passed since they met, we could actually admit enough time has gone for the feelings between them could simmer and fill them with hope.
This story features a crime, and being Fellows a policeman, we see him go through the clues to reach the guilty one. The way we found out about the killer is done after the guilty one is caught, and we just know the how after it happened. Usually I don't have an issue with this tactic to create suspense until the end, and I guess with such a short amount of page numbers things have to happen behind scenes, but it was a bit rushed to see things go this way. But well, I never suspected the author of the crime nor other of his crimes, so, I can't say it was such a bad thing..but it could have been different.
Now, the most important part, the romance of course...well, apart from the way it seemed too fast considering we don't see many scenes between them before they admit their feelings to each other, I actually liked how they always felt the other was right for them, how the other seemed to fill their head with images of happiness and their hearts with love. It was nice and they are two characters I really hoped to see find some happiness.
Louisa is accused of being the killer but obviously she didn't do it and I thought it was brave of her to try to help and to prove her innocence. I liked her character and her belief Fellows was worthy and admirable and she never thought about loosing a position in society to be with him. It was commendable.
Fellows of course had a more realistic idea of hoe things could be, he knew he wouldn't be worthy of her but he didn't do the "honorable" thing and tried to stay away, he always admitted she was special and after he admitted his jealousy to himself he went after her. I like a hero who doesn't play that act of the "I don't deserve you"...I don't know why but when a woman does this, it feels like humility but with a man it seems just annoying...a matter of perspective, really.
I also liked to see other Mackenzies show up and be a part of their story. Tis happened in all the full length books, why not in this one as well? Plus, it was wonderful to know the Mackenzies accepted and wanted Fellows to feel part of the family. I think the brother's relationship is one of the strongest points in the whole series.
In the end, the story had the needed elements to work out, personally I feel some things could have done better, but overall, I can't say I was disappointed. I know some readers didn't like it as much because of the whole romance focus and all, but I fully hope to see the main couple again and their story seemed balanced enough to be good. Not perfect, no, but enjoyable.