Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Publication: March 30, 2021 by Zebra
Series: The Maidens of Mayhem, Book One
Synopsis: Fans of Sarah MacLean, Vanessa Riley, and Julia London will adore this modern take on the Regency, filled with tough, empowered women meeting their matches in a sexy story from rising star Anabelle Bryant.
From the glittering ballrooms of the ton to the city’s grittiest corners, London has no shortage of wrongs in need of righting—and the Maidens of Mayhem are prepared for the challenge. United by secrecy and sisterhood, these daring women from all walks of life aim to fight injustice wherever it takes them—even into the arms of unexpected love… These Regency Robin Hoods from USA Today bestselling author Anabelle Bryant are destined to storm into readers’ hearts!
Scarlett Wynn’s tragic childhood taught her that life can be cruel to women with little power. So when a local seamstress disappears, Scarlett vows to find out why. Armed with a weapon and her courage, Scarlett scours London for clues—and crosses the unlikely path of Ambrose Cross, the Duke of Aylesford, at an unlikely place: an upscale brothel. The Duke is trying to solve a mystery of his own, and Scarlett is sure they can help each other—if she can resist the attraction that draws them together…
As Duke, Ambrose is duty-bound to protect his family name from scandal, no matter the cost. But Scarlett’s fearless spirit forces him to look beyond his world of privilege. Scarlett is as intoxicating as she is dangerous, igniting a fire in him like no other. But when the pair learn both mysteries they’re trying to solve are tied to a string of missing women, the tangled scheme they uncover may put their lives, and their growing love, in mortal danger—and lead them to search their hearts like never before…
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
This was a bit different than most historical romance I read; I typically go for World War II romances, so this was a good way to branch out my genres some. It was a little difficult to focus on at first, but once I got used to the era and language, it was easier to keep up with. I’ll more than likely keep up with this series and maybe even start reading some more regency romance.
I couldn’t fully connect with Scarlett, but I did find her character interesting. Ambrose was honestly frustrating at times, but I still enjoyed his character. I wish we saw more of the secondary characters, though I’m sure with the rest of the series, we’ll be introduced to each of them.
I thought the romance aspect was really interesting as well. It was a duke/commoner romance, which (obviously) I’ve never read before. Though some of the dialogue felt a bit forced, I did enjoy most of the interactions between Ambrose and Scarlett.
Some of my favorite mysteries are mixed with romance, so I loved the conch expect a fun, lighter book than it is, but I still enjoyed it. It opened me up to a new subgenre of romance as well.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book via Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.
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Meet the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Anabelle Bryant began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born. Happy to grab her suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel; especially imaginary jaunts into romantic Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn’t want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?
Anabelle’s books have been translated into several languages including Japanese and Russian, but writing isn’t all that keeps her busy. Building miniatures, baking and photography are other favorite pastimes. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle is just as happy in a room full of people. She enjoys meeting readers, attending conferences and book signings. She has earned her Master’s Degree and is ABD for her Doctorate Degree in education. A firm believer in romance, Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn’t provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do. Visit her website at AnabelleBryant.com