never trustPUB. INFO: Montlake Romance, 12/2013
GENRE: Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1869
SERIES: Scandal at the House of Russell, book 2

From Publisher: Madeleine Russell, the beautiful daughter of a shipping magnate, counted on marrying a wealthy husband. Then her father’s disgrace and death left her with no dowry and no suitor. But Maddy and her sisters fully intend to restore their good name. Their first step: find the villain who framed their family. One of her father’s captains, a notorious former pirate, becomes a prime suspect. When Maddy joins the captain’s household disguised as his newest servant, her dark-eyed, charismatic employer soon develops his own agenda: seduction…

Captain Thomas Morgan spent most of his life amassing vast riches and respectability…and keeping his gypsy roots a secret. Now, he just needs to marry his prim, polished fiancée…and resist his intriguing new housemaid. A pirate never falls in love, he reminds himself. As mutual deception leads Maddy and the captain into uncharted territory, the truth could anchor them to terrible heartache…or to passion beyond their wildest dreams.

MY THOUGHTS: This review contains spoilers. I was disappointed in this. It's too similar to the first in the series. Heroine gets a job in the home of the hero, whom she suspects of being her father's murderer, hero discovers who she really is but doesn't let her know, hero makes advances toward heroine which she rebuffs over and over again, ect. Same premise as book one.

Maddy is a twenty-two year old nonvirgin and the hero, Luca, aka Thomas Morgan, is half Romany, half English and is twenty-nine. I didn't like their unlikely first meeting on the street. I didn't like that Maddy was being abused a bit by the housekeeper and never told Luca. There was no reason for her not to have told him. I don't like that he has a huge tattoo down his left side, beginning on his shoulder. Yes, I know people had tattoos back then but please leave them out of historicals.

There's another bad character in this story too. They're out to kill Maddy. They sneak aboard the ship that she and Luca are on and almost succeeds in throwing her overboard but Luca comes on the rescue just in time...of course. Him sneaking aboard ship is something I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have done himself. Like previously, he'd have hired someone to do the murder for him. Him throwing her over his shoulder and walking toward the side of the ship where he could be seen by multiple people makes no sense. He brought a bag to put her body in it, should he need to do it, so he should have killed her in the ship's cabin first, put her body in the bag then thrown the bag overboard. Another problem I have is with Maddy coming to the conclusion after her murder attempt that that person is also the one who murdered her father. Where'd that revelation come from?

The thing that bothers me most is Luca basically grew up on the streets. To make money he and his friend were pickpockets who also prostituted themselves. I wanted to know more about that. I wanted to know what Luca thought of having to do it and how it may have effected him as an adult. It was mentioned and that was it. I feel his character was underdeveloped. Him living on the street and prostituting himself is very interesting to me and I want to know more.

This story only spans about a month or so. I don't believe their love is genuine. They hardly know each other yet are in love and get married within a really short time? I don't think so.

I like both Maddy and Luca but the bad outweigh the good in this story. There's to be one more in this series and hopefully it'll be better than this one.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Same review here.

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