Rating: I Liked it!
Description: Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.
Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve.
But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker...
Genre: Suspense - Historical Romance
Why I Picked This Book: I love Jayne Ann Krentz's books and have been wanting to read some of her books under Amanda Quick and I love the memento mori aspect of this one.
My Impression: This was one of those books that had been on my TBR for ages and then one day at the library it just jumped in my bag and demanded to be read. Luckily, it lived up to it's demand and was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
While the primary focus is on Calista and Trent I did enjoy the addition of Eudora (Trent's sister) and Andrew (Calista's brother). They both enjoyed getting involved in the investigation, brought their own skill sets, and provided some explanations for back stories for Calista and Trent. Since they're both younger siblings there is a little bit of humor in watching them poke fun occasionally at their older brother and sister.
Calista and Trent have quite a bit in common. They've both found themselves very much alone at a fairly young age with very little money and people who depended on them. They've both assumed the role of protector and provider without flinching. They're smart and resourceful and fairly private. It took me a little while to really get hooked into this book. Calista and Trent are fairly stilted with each other at first which made the feel of the book itself a little stilted at first. However, the mystery was intriguing from the beginning and within 50 pages or so the stiltedness had faded and I was fully engaged.
Despite my initial hesitation I ended up thoroughly enjoying this read. Calista and Trent were interesting, likable and fairly believable. I especially appreciated that Calista had realistic views of her abilities but doesn't undersell herself and has no TSTL moments. The mystery itself was cleverly done and it made for a thoroughly entertaining read.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely! This was a lot of fun and I like to read more from her under any of her pseudonyms.
Would I Recommend this Book? Absolutely! If you like romantic suspense or historical romance this was a really entertaining read.