This story combines an entertaining spy tale with a chilling murder mystery while showcasing some of the obstacles facing women during this era of history. The resourceful Amity is a coolheaded female who is quick on her feet and an adventurous soul. Her inadvertent insults to Benedict (who does not appreciate being compared to a camel) are amusing and her use of her tessen as a defensive tool is awe-inspiring. There are some sobering allusions to common practices of the era, including the status of wives such as Penny and the handling of mentally ill individuals and those who are squeamish should be warned that there are a few somewhat gory scenes in the story. The characters were a little flat for me and their relationships were not quite as well-developed as I have come to expect from this author and one of the resolutions seemed a bit too contrived but I think that this could be the beginning of an intriguing series and this was still an enjoyable light read.
“Otherwise Engaged” by Amanda Quick is a historical romance that has a nice element of suspense and introduces the intrepid world traveller, Amity Doncaster, who has a startling encounter with engineer Benedict Stanbridge that leads her into a series of unexpected experiences and embroils her in a search for a Russian spy. Amity’s reputation is besmirched by an act of compassion but she never dreams that her very life will be threatened by a serial killer or that her sister Penny harbors secrets of her own that could cause additional complications. With the aid of both Benedict and the tenacious Inspector Logan from Scotland Yard, the sisters strive to survive long enough to solve the mysteries touching their lives and perhaps discover a path to a happiness.
Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler, is accustomed to adventure and risk. Benedict Stanbridge, a man of science and a spy for the Crown, has faced danger in the darker corners of foreign lands.
But they are about to face a threat that is shockingly close to home . . .
One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. But Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after she is trapped in a carriage with a blade-wielding man in a black silk mask who whispers the most vile taunts and threats into her ear. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her . . . for now.
But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom, who has left a trail of female victims in his wake, has survived the wounds she inflicts and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by her scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge?gossip about their hours alone in a ship’s stateroom seems to have crossed the Atlantic faster than any sailing vessel could. Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him?as tenuous as it may be.
For a man and woman so skilled at disappearing, so at home in the exotic reaches of the globe, escape is always an option. But each intends to end the Bridegroom’s reign of terror in London, and will join forces to do so. And as they prepare to confront an unbalanced criminal in the heart of the city they love, they must also face feelings that neither of them can run away from. . . .