Lillian Holmes and the Leaping Man by Ciar CullenLillian Holmes and the Leaping Man by Ciar Cullen
Published by Boroughs Publishing Group on 07/29/2913
Genres: Historical Romance, PNR, Victorian Romance
Pages: 162
Format: eBook
Source: author
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At the cusp of the twentieth century, an heiress turned detective enters a world of deception and danger and must learn to trust her nemesis with both her life and her love.

Tormented by a tragic past, Miss Lillian Holmes nonetheless found the strength to go on, to become the greatest female detective of her time. To make her uncle proud. Except...he was not truly her uncle. Sherlock was a fictional character, and Lil was less a true detective than a sheltered twenty-six year old heiress with taste for mystery...and morphine. But then she saw him. Leaping from her neighbor’s second-story window, a beautiful stranger. With the recent murders plaguing Baltimore, here was a chance to reveal the truth.

Except, the Leaping Man was far more than he seemed. A wanton creature of darkness, an entry point to a realm of deception and evil, and to a Truth she had waited countless years to uncover, he would threaten far more than Lillian’s life. He would take both her heart and soul. And she would rejoice in it.

This is an interesting one.  I found myself liking elements I thought I wouldn’t and not liking things I normally do.

Ciar Cullen writes the time period, along with the few steampunk-esque elements really well.  I’m taking notes on that.  Lillian is a great, complicated character.  She’s not ‘conventional’ to the times but even more so than being opinionated or not wearing the trends.  The fact that you wonder if her mental state is due to a true illness of the mind or from the addiction to morphine is a nice little vehicle.  It’s also an homage to Sherlock Holmes in a way, alluding to his 7% solution and how it could affect his mind at times as well.

George, the love interest, is what a love interest should be.  Handsome, alluring, sexy, smart…you get the picture.  Of course, he’s also a vampire so let’s face it…I was gonna fall for him immediately.  I’m so predictable 😉

Likes: The way Sherlock Holmes comes into this.  Not as a real character, but as a fictional character this woman is using to hold on to her sanity.  I totally get that.  I joke about playing “The Game” but there are times where I convince myself that Holmes was/is real.  Lines can blur between fact and fiction and I like how the author plays with that.   Any reader who really gets lost in a story can attest to the fact that sometimes you forget the characters aren’t real and you aren’t having conversations with them while driving, you’re just talking to yourself.  Out loud.  Anyone else?  Hello?

Issues: George being a paranormal love interest sort of cheapened it.  Which sounds odd after what I said earlier.  But she escapes from those who are basically holding her prisoner with her own inheritance because he’s paranormal which means he can do things others can’t.  I wanted her to really break free and live life using her own cunning and wit.  I wanted her to use this Holmes and sleuthing obsession to really come out of her ‘prison’ and then be a brilliant detective in her own right.  With a hot vampire by her side.  But alas, no.

Despite that it was still a good story.  Overall, the world building was great, I found the Holmes angle an interesting, well done concept and there’s a sexy vampire.