Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 288 pages
Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: October 12th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Seaside, England, 1886
Eva Caldwell is an accomplished and well-known photographer who often works with the local constabulary to assist in documenting crime scenes, which means she also often works alongside the handsome and charming detective, Nathan Winston. She appreciates his intellect and how he treats her like an equal, but Eva’s heart is still healing from a past relationship, so, for now, she decides to keep her feelings for Nathan a secret.
One evening, Nathan arrives on her doorstep asking for a personal favor. Would Eva be available to photograph his mother’s legendary, week-long dinner party and matchmaking event? The catch is that Eva would also have to pretend they are courting in order for Nathan to avoid the many single women seeking his attention.
Though wary of the charade, Eva agrees. Spending a week with the two things she loves most—her detective and her camera—sounds simple enough. And if she wants to imagine that Nathan’s pretend courtship of her is real, well, what’s the harm in that?
But when a criminal from Nathan’s past threatens revenge on the detective, Nathan must be extra vigilant to keep his mother and the rest of the partygoers safe. He confides in Eva, and as the two work together to solve the mystery and apprehend the criminal, they find that they might capture more than they expected—each other’s heart.
Thank you to Shadow Mountain for the ARC.
I wanted to love this more than I did, but there were a few things holding me back.
The romantic suspense and murder mystery aspects were a good addition to the plot. A dry story of a house party needed the umph that the mystery brought. I adore that Nathan was a detective because that’s one of my fav careers to come across, book wise, and he a hero to cheer for. Not to mention the fact that he’s been into Eva for ages? We love a man who falls first.
Within the romance I thought things felt very vanilla? There was this great start with a fake dating scheme that too quickly turned into–well–nothing. They went ahead and admitted feelings to each other and that was that! I didn’t get any angst or great build-up. But if you’re looking for what I would still call a sweet romance that has some little dates sprinkled throughout you’d enjoy this one.
It’s super fast paced and I did like the writing style. A few things ultimately didn’t click for me and that happens.
Overall audience notes:
- Historical Romance
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: mild
- Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, attempted murder