London, 1812. When the unconventional Gemma Lancaster embarked on a mission to infiltrate high society and avenge her beloved cousin’s murder she never would have guessed she’d end up in the arms of a thief. At least, that’s what she assumes when she discovers Lucas Stone breaking into a private safe.
Lucas Stone, the Earl of Winchester, has a reputation for arrogance and a soft-spot for his sister, which is how he ends up in the predicament of hiding behind a curtain at midnight with the dreadfully dull Miss Gemma Lancaster. But he soon discovers appearances can be deceiving when the country mouse turns into a spitfire in front of his eyes and she makes it clear she wants nothing to do with him.
Though one is chasing a blackmailer and the other a murderer, they quickly realize they are on the hunt for the same villain. Now they must work together, which would be fine, if they could decide if they’d rather fall in love or kill one another.
Missing that spark...
This book was so very long, could have been shortened by 300 pages. It wasn't bad, just not amazing. There was more mystery then romance and the characters were so flat and one dimensional. The author added a second romance but that fell flat as well. Forced myself to finish it, wouldn't recommend it.
This story is set in London in 1812, when women were wallflowers that attended parties and balls waiting for suitors to as for their hand in marriage. It will have you smiling from the get go, as well as being a love story full of mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is my first Brianna Labuskes story, but it won't be my last, I enjoyed her writing style and well rounded story!
Gemma Lancaster is looking for whoever murdered her cousin Nigel, who was more like her brother. As a young lady or rather a spinster of twenty-five, her aunt Rosalind and her have a scheme: to make sure as few people as possible paid attention to her while they attend as many parties as they can, Gemma assumes the role of a wallflower with the ton. By wearing dowdy gowns, spectacles, and carrying on boring conversation—that she cultivated to one or two word replies, to keep anyone from noticing her compared to the rest of the glittering butterflies that flitted through society, she was a mousey nobody. But with those piercing eyes, Lord Winchester seemed to see beyond the facade, but with her unruly fire red hair she was never going to be the type of woman to turn heads when she walked into a ballroom. Except Lord Winchester, he definitely spelled trouble, he's the type to do what he wanted, regardless of her opinion and being one of the ton’s most eligible gentlemen, using an engagement to her is the perfect ruse for them to spend more time together to collaborate and find the blackmailer-murderer together. After they do, Gemma will "cry off" and return to the country alone as she planned, because she refuses to ever be a burden to someone she loved again.
Lucas Stone is a wealthy man who is searching for the blackmailer that is after his sister, or are they actually after him and using his sister's diary information as leverage? While working with Gemma under the ruse of them being engaged as a cover to search for clues and information during house parties/balls, he has to fight his instantaneous attraction to the little spitfire. She is not like other women who drown in expensive perfume to make themselves be noticed. He thinks Gemma is fire and light, smart with a sharp humor he admires, courageous to hunt a potential murderer, but shy in society, and a riddle on one hand, an open book in the other... Uniquely Gemma, something about her pulled at him.
What happens between Lucas and Gemma? Will they fall in love or kill each other? You'll have to read ONE STEP BEHIND to find out, but it'll be worth it! It's a funny but witty, mysterious historical romance story set in the early 1800's. I received an ARC copy via IndieSage in exchange for a blog tour review.
“Timing has never been our strong suit, has it?”
The appearance of a panther holding deceptively still during a hunt.