(a Full length, spicy historical romance from TKA Distribution)
This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Janet will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter on the tour, so comment today AND follow the tour (if you click on the tour banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!
Benedict de Malorie, Earl of Trevisan, can never forget the masked woman he met one night at a London pleasure garden. The clever pickpocket stole his heart and his family's prized jewel – the Malorie Phoenix. But the family treasure reappears in Benedict's darkest hour, returned by its thief, along with the unexpected gift of his infant daughter.
Believing that she is dying, Jenny Smith leaves her daughter in the custody of the baby’s blueblood father. Seven years later she finds herself in good health and alone, yearning for her only child. To raise enough money to support them both, she takes part in a daring escapade that requires her to impersonate a woman of quality. She fools the ton and Benedict himself.
When Jenny finds herself entangled in a murderous plot against Benedict, the father of her child, her carefully laid plans begin to fall apart. All she wants is her daughter back, but she never thought she'd fall in love with Benedict. Revealing her part in the plot means she will almost certainly lose Benedict and their daughter forever. But continuing to play her role puts them all in terrible danger.
How love grows out of such an inauspicious beginning is incredible. Jenny Smith and Benedict de Malorie are not the usual kind of hero and heroine. She is a pickpocket and Benedict has no concern about taking her virginity in a dark alley of London. Yet, the true nature of each of them comes to the fore as the story unfolds and one sees how they came to be who they are morally.
Jenny does what she knows how to do to keep body and soul together and goes that last mile to give her child a better life than she could offer her.
Benedict, who becomes the earl of Trevisan, does what he knows to do to save the family estate. However, his awareness of how he became to earl creates post traumatic stress disorder that plagues him even seven years after the fact.
The way Jenny and Benedict are brought back together after seven years seems too contrived to be believable for me; but I really wanted to know how these two characters fare as time goes on. I kept reading and became engrossed in the intrigues, murder attempts, social manipulations, chicanery, and the unique relationship Jenny and Benedict develop.
A delightful part of this story is six-year-old Sarah. This much-loved child makes the story sparkle at times.
The foreshadowing that hints at who the antagonist is threads through the story in subtle fashion, but it is still a shock to see who it is and just how diabolical and to what lengths he is willing to go to get what he wants.
"The Malorie Phoenix" has an interesting array of secondary characters. Even the dead Roly Ansett’ who was Jenny protector, plays an important role in the outcome. Little Billy, a most unusual horse, is a major influence in the development of events. Some of the characters that one would least expect bring in humor that makes one chuckle while other characters depict true loyalty to both Benedict and Jenny.
"The Malorie Phoenix" is a story of redemption. While it doesn’t, at least for me, flow smoothly at times, it is far too intriguing to stop turning pages. It is satisfying to see such flawed characters grow into what they were meant to be and find their happy-ever-after. Theirs is not an easy journey.
3.5 / 5 Flowers