During an investigation into a woman's death, gentleman thief turned private inquiry agent Ambrose Wells finds himself at Aldwick Castle - and in the middle of chaos. The building is in flames. Men are dead. And a woman and four young girls are fleeing on horseback. A confirmed loner, Ambrose nevertheless finds himself taking Miss Concordia Glade and her young charges under his wing. With their lives at risk, he insists they must remain in hiding until he is able to unravel the truth behind their recent imprisonment at the castle. Concordia has never met anyone like Ambrose Wells before. He is bold, clever, and inscrutable - even to the perceptive gaze of a professional teacher such as herself. He is also her only hope to protect her pupils from the unscrupulous men who are after them - powerful, shadowy figures who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) gives her fans what they want in her latest historical romance, set in a movieland Victorian England. Concordia Glade, a teacher with past secrets and unconventional ideas about educating women, meets Ambrose Wells, a "private inquiry agent" with secrets of his own and an unusual tattoo, as she and her four orphaned pupils flee Aldwick Castle, which they have set on fire to hide their escape. Ambrose escorts the lovely fugitives to safety, protecting them from the criminal mastermind and his aristocratic partner who'd kept them as part of a dastardly plan to use them for profit and pleasure. Concordia returns the favor by helping Ambrose investigate the mysterious death of a London woman. Courteous, daring, resourceful, Concordia and Ambrose can't wait to ravish each other repeatedly. Who but Quick (The Paid Companion, etc.) finds such joy in chestnuts such as the boy thief mentored by the rich man he tries to rob? Or the dilettante solving cases Scotland Yard can't? Quick plunges into every clich ("Sensation after sensation coursed through her, leaving no room for uncertainty, let alone any sense of modesty"), but energizes her fluid narration with modern sensibilities, gutsy leads and romantic excesses. There's nothing new here, but that's part of Quick's great appeal.