Danger Wears White (The Emperors of London #3)
Lyrical Press / July 7, 2015 / $15.00 print, $4.99 digital
Hoping to live down her family’s connections to the traitorous Jacobite cause, Imogen wants nothing more than a quiet life in the country. When she stumbles upon a wounded man, the white cockade in his coat tells her he’s a Jacobite, and a danger to the crown. Yet there’s something about him she can’t resist . . .
In search of a document on behalf of his powerful family, Tony is shot and left for dead. Secreted away to a hidden chamber, he finds himself both a guest and prisoner of a beautiful but mysterious woman. What she wants and who she serves, he cannot know. But what he does understand is the desire burning strongly between them. And that neither of them will be spared until their lust is sated.
When the action moves to London, suddenly it’s Tony who has to act to save Imogen. Forced to become a lady in waiting to Princess Amelia, she is in peril from the Jacobites, who are convinced she is their salvation. Only the strength of Tony and Imogen’s love can save them now.
Full Disclosure: On top of being a writer, Lynne Connolly is a blogger at Heroes & Heartbreakers and has blogged with Wendy the Super Librarian at The Good, The Bad and the Unread.
It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that the Regency era is King in historical romance. It just is. I’ve accepted this. However, when it comes to historical romance of all stripes, I expect certain things. When I read a Regency, I want a Regency. Likewise when I read a Georgian-set or Victorian-set historical romance, I want Georgian or Victorian. What I do not want, and often times am stuck with, is that make-believe time period I call Quasi-Regency. We get the marketing of “Hey, this is different!” but when we crack open the pages we’re back to a familiar that doesn’t feel quite right because the author is blending several hundred years of history into a mish-mash. This is not the case with the latest by Lynne Connolly, which is Georgian era right down to its powdered hair roots.
Given that this is the third book in a series about a family who likes to name their children after emperors and empresses, we have some backstory. Luckily the author starts things off with a bang (literally) and brings newcomers up to speed at a fairly good clip. The Battle of Culloden and 1745 should have put the final nail in the Jacobite cause, but turns out several factions are still sniffing around. This is how our hero, Tony, finds himself shot and bleeding in an abandoned hut on the outskirts of Imogen’s property. When she spies the white cockade, she knows he’s a Jacobite and while she’s loathe to help anyone associated with the cause, she can’t very well let the man bleed to death on her land. So she spirits him back to her eccentric Tudor home to nurse him back to health. After stashing him in a hidden room, of course.
This is good news for Tony, being shot notwithstanding. He wants in Imogen’s house to look for a document, only rumored to exist, and he thinks it’s in her home. Imogen’s father was a known Jacobite, having been stripped of his title and with no money left to speak of. The only thing left is the small country estate that the heroine adores but that her uppity mother abhors. Imogen is no fool. When someone addresses her as “my lady” she quickly corrects them and she has no use for a cause that left the family finances in ruins. She’s not a political animal.
“I will not spend the rest of my life chasing after a lost cause for an ungrateful man and his son. I will live in my house and be thankful that at least this remains to me.”
Of course this all goes flying out the window when she nurses Tony. In truth he is not a Jacobite, he’s just playing one to get what he wants, which he thinks is a missing document but in truth turns out to be Imogen – in more ways than one. Because as it soon becomes apparent, for reasons she can barely fathom, both Jacobite rebels and the royal family are very interested in her, the country girl hiding away on her Tudor estate.
That was the second man to tell her she was beautiful in as many days. What had brought on this flattery? She’d managed five-and-twenty years without attracting too much scrutiny. She could only assume that the men were deluded or they had other motives for trying to coax her to town.
Yes, it’s a historical romance with a hero playing spy and a heroine who doesn’t know everything about her past. We’ve been down this road before and we’ll likely go down it again. However what we have here is an honest-to-goodness, I’m not lying to you, historical romance that is a Georgian. Not a Quasi-Regency that thinks it’s a Georgian. No, an actual Georgian. Now someone go fetch me my powdered wig.
Learn more about or order a copy of Danger Wears White by Lynne Connolly, available July 7, 2015:
Wendy the Super Librarian also blogs at WendyTheSuperLibrarian.blogspot.com. So dig that library card out of your pocket and head for the stacks.