Series: Bow Street Runners, #1
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Pages: unknown (Kindle edition)
Release Date: May 1, 1999
Grant Morgan is one of London's most eligible and unattainable bachelors. He's also a powerful member of the Bow Street Runners, and when he's called to the waterfront late one night to investigate a drowning victim, Grant is stunned to recognize the face of Vivien Rose Duvall, a well-known woman of the night. He's even more startled when he realizes that she's alive. With no one to care for her, Grant carries Vivien to his home and revives her, only to learn that she is suffering from amnesia.
Vivien hesitantly accepts her handsome rescuer's claim that she is his mistress, despite her misgivings about her true identity. Nevertheless, she can't deny the marks on her throat that prove her near-drowning in the Thames was not an accident, and now she must trust the man who claims her as his paramour, for her life is in danger. As Grant searches for Vivien's attacker, the two find themselves falling in love, all the while struggling to stay one step ahead of the evil forces that will stop at nothing to see Vivien dead.
Grant Morgan is a workaholic and doesn't have time or the need for love. Then he's called to the scene where a woman was pulled from the water, takes her home, and things start to change inside the man who's described to be as "unloving and unmovable as granite." At first it seems like he's doing his lawful duty, until we find out that he knows her and wants revenge! I like revenge plots, especially when it's obvious that they'll become lovers in the end. So this one reminded me a bit of Again the Magic, also by Kleypas, in that regard. However, I was a bit put off by Grant, because he was plotting revenge on a woman who was obviously almost killed and was currently unconscious and half-frozen in his bed! Sure she's a renowned courtesan who had embarrassed him publicly, but getting pay back while she's in that kind of state? Horrible! The worst part is, he's still planning on it even after she's revealed to have amnesia!
This started off seemingly like a mystery and suspense, with Grant working to find out who tried to kill Vivien, while getting his revenge on the side. But then the story slows way down for a long time. Nothing really happens with either of those plot lines. It's just a lot of Grant going back and forth about how he feels about Vivien: She's a lying whore, so he's going to lie to her since she doesn't know anything about herself. Then she's so alluring and beautiful and he wants to care for her. But wait, she might be lying and playing some kind of game, so he'll continue to plot his revenge! BUT what if she really does have amnesia? In that case, he really likes the woman she is now, even though she was a self-absorbed bitch before. He seriously could not make up his mind on what he wanted to do!
But the midpoint makes a switch from slow and boring, to fast and exciting, in more ways than one! The second half of this book is significantly better than the first! The mystery and the romance both seem to take off and there's a twist that I was not expecting at all. I had my suspicions early on, but I felt like it was too obvious to be what actually was going on. I could hardly put this one down once the story really got going! This definitely isn't my favorite of Kleypas' books I've read so far, but I thought the second half was great, if obvious, and I enjoyed it.