Shadows and Masks, Book 1 of The Chessmen Series
A Booksellers' Best Finalist
Scientist Emmeline Griffith needed to be someone’s Mrs. just long enough to prevent the loss of her inheritance. The arrangement would be all business--a marriage in-name-only, a grand subterfuge lasting only a few months. But where would she find such an unusual husband? With the marriage deadline looming, she turned in desperation to the only man her beloved uncle trusted enough to recommend--private investigator Bartholomew Turner.
Bart Turner’s clients didn’t usually seek temporary husbands. So, when the mysterious Miss Griffith asked him to find her one, he naturally turned her down. But as she left his office, someone had the audacity to shoot her right on his own front steps. Now, not only did she need a temporary husband, but she needed a professional protector as well. And someone with the skills to discover who wanted her dead. In short, she needed him. And if he were to accomplish his mission, he must accept the contract she offered.
But odd as it seemed, the arrangement was perfect. Neither Emmie nor Bart wanted a real marriage. His demons still haunted his nightmares; his world of hunting murderers was far too dangerous for someone he might love. And for Emmie, a real husband would take away her freedom and squelch her pursuit of scientific endeavors, one of which was on the cusp of success.
But, as the embers of attraction unexpectedly burst into blazing passion, one insidious truth became evident. Someone had been slowly killing off Emmie’s family and close friends. And she was next on the killer’s list.
Heat level: Steamy.
Shadows and Masks is the first book in the Chessman Victorian mystery romance series. If you like strong female heroines, flawed sexy alpha heroes, steamy romances, and an emotional punch to the gut, then you’ll love this series.
This book was longer than it needed to be. Unnecessary filler, drawn out chapters, sooooo many other characters. I feel the main characters really did a 180 after they married; they had this mindset and plan and then completely abandoned it due to…physical attraction? Not bc they got to know each other in depth.