To the London society, Miss Fionna Hawkes is the proprietess of a bookstore. What they would be shocked to know is that she is also the popular author of horror stories, F.J. Sparrow, whose work currenly enthralls the public. Fionna has other secrets to, such as her joy of walking alone during the middle of the night.
Aidan McBride meets Fionna on one of her midnight jaunts, as she tries to whack him with her umbrella. He is immediately intrigued by her, wanting to know her better. Concerned for her vulnerability while walking alone at night, he decides to protect her against the evils in the night.
Fionna is an intelligent, imaginative, independent young woman. It was nice to read about a successful business woman who was on similar footing as the hero, and not an exact opposite. Aidan is a very appealing gentleman, though he desires Fionna, he doesn't rush their relationship, he is patient enough to work things through to get what he wants. Aidan is not physically perfect and has his own ghosts to put to rest before he can find true peace in his life. He desires to unravel the mysteries surrounding Fiona and to keep her safe.
I was rather annoyed with Fionna keeping her mother secret from Aidan for so long, though I understand that the taint madness in Victorian England was looked upon much differently than modern times. I still felt that she should have shared more of herself with him, after he had opened up and shared his secrets and guilt with her. When she finally was forced to open up, I think she was a bit overly-dramatic, which irritated me, though I would have been extremely angry to find that someone I trusted had spied on me, too.
Samantha James wrote a wonderful story of love and seduction with a twist of mystery. I enjoy the time she spent allowing Aidan and Fionna to get to know each other before they fell into bed. But, I did feel that the solving of the mystery of the stalker was rushed, like Ms. James was just trying to resolve it quickly before she forgot about it, but don't misunderstand me, I still liked the development of the stalker and his creepiness, it added a nice depth to the story.
Ms. James creates very likable characters, it was nice to see Aidan's sister Anne and her husband Simon from THE SECRET PASSION OF SIMON BLACKWELL, again, and I am looking forward to his brother Alec's story.
Seduction is something Fionna Hawkes knows nothing about. So when she encounters a sexy stranger on a moonlit street, her first instinct is to defend herself against her darkly handsome suitor. But letting go of suspicion and allowing herself to fall for Lord Aidan McBride brings even greater danger. In his eyes, she glimpses a powerful passion she longs to fulfill. In his arms, she aches with the secret she longs to unburden. A secret that could cost her her livelihood—and her life. Aidan could never resist a mystery, especially one as mesmerizing as the lovely Miss Hawkes! Drawing her into the shelter of his embrace, he won't rest until he convinces her to reveal everything. Braving the danger that stalks Fionna at every turn, Aidan is determined to defend her—and just as determined to claim her as his own.