A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.
Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.
Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.
When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.
I adored this. It was an absolute mad-cap adventure, full of sarcasm and pointed cognitive dissonance. I adored Cecilia and all of her morally ambiguous, but completely proper aunties. I thought Ned was a marvelous love interest. It would be difficult to call him a hero, since Cecilia has so little need of one. But he does try, bless his heart.
As much as I loved the witty repartee and utter lack of seriousness, it did become tedious at times, making the book feel a little like a one-trick pony. But every-time I started to think it, the book would throw some sarcastic aside at me and I’d find myself laughing again. I also disliked how easily Cecilia went from strong, smart, and capable to silly and how often. One sip of alcohol and she’s giggling drunk, for example. But that’s a relatively small complaint in the larger picture.
I’m so glad to see Alex will be the male focus of book two. I’ll be lined up to read it on it’s release.