Author: Amanda Quick
Read copy: eBook
Published: April 19, 2016
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...
Someone is stalking Calista Langley, leaving her memento moris, trinkets for people in deepest mourning, engraved with her initials. The second trinket was on her bed, so needless to say the woman's nerves aren't truly steel-like. Ad to that her client's brother who thinks Calista is trying to set his sister with a fortune hunter, and Calista isn't having a good week.
I'll be the first to admit I love Amanda Quick's novels of intrigue, mystery, and romance in Victorian England, but this one left me utterly "cold".
The romance fell flat with barely a smidgen of heat and passion, the characters were rather uninteresting, and the mystery, while promising at the start, soon lost its appeal. The pacing also left much to be desired; it looked like there wasn't enough plot to fill an entire book, so there were a lot of filler chapters where the pace severely suffered.
I'm sorry to say, the story was rather unappealing, and unlike with the previous works by this author, I kept getting distracted while reading. I simply didn't grab or hold my attention. Pity.