My rating: 3.5 of 5 flames
Right off the bat I didn’t care for the heroine. In her quest for adventures, she came off bossy and pushy. But at the same time, she was 12 years old, so I tried to give her some leeway. She pushed them into a no-marriage pact. None of them would ever get married. But they each had one escape clause. Millie required a man who would allow her to climb trees, ride astride, hunt, and have adventures. Her friend Aimee’s escape was her brother’s friend Reece. Janelle must have a man who prized debate, adventure and discussing philosophy. I felt Millie bullied them into the pact.
When next we see her as an adult, I still had a hard time with her. She was still pushing her friends around, and still on the hunt for her next grand adventure.Until I realized how fiercely loyal she was, how much she loved her friends, and how much they loved her. We weren’t just told that, but we were shown through their actions and their points of view. Aimee and Janelle enjoyed her adventures as much as she did, though they sometimes needed an extra “push” from Millie. I found I actually kind of liked Millie.
Charles is Aimee’s brother, and Marquess of Chaselton (his friends call him Chase). He is also who was constantly rescuing little Mildred Alder from her “adventures.” And while he may have teased her mercilessly, he’s always sort of admired her.
He’s spent the past few years abroad as part of a spy ring, helping both on the front lines, and behind the scenes. He is back in London as part of a ruse. He is chaperoning/escorting his sister and her friends, but he is also searching for the man who killed his father.
There is a bit of a “National Treasure” type mystery there, and it’s okay. I found it to conveniently pop in and out of the plot as needed, but I liked it nonetheless. I hope in the next book, that it’s continued; I’d like to see some bad guys get their due.
I liked the romance, and I liked the side characters a lot. I really want to see Reece and Aimee get together, and I’m curious if the bad guy is truly gone. He may not be. I didn’t see him as the villain of the piece at all, but it worked. There was something about his character I didn’t like, but it would spoil the mystery if I put it.
***Thank you to Kensington’s Zebra Historicals for the ARC