“the romance in this book is definitely a slow burn.”
~ Under the Covers

This was my first time reading Julie Anne Long and I didn’t know what to expect.  I immediately noticed a very distinct writing style and I’ll be honest at first it took me a little while to get into it.  Once I settled in and got used to it, I was ok with it even if I probably will say it wasn’t one that really flowed easily for me.

Delilah has just lost her husband.  Theirs was never a love marriage and she’s not left heartbroken but she is left penniless.  Everything they owned was apparently on credit and Delilah had no idea.  Now she finds herself without a home, help or any of the things she was used to.  But she does inherit one building by the docks that her husband owned out right.  Who knows for what purpose.  And she has to make the best of her situation.  She also finds out that her husband had a mistress, who is also left in a financial bind, and they strike up a friendship and alliance in converting that building into a boarding house and a successful business without needing a man.

I really enjoyed the friendship between the women in this book and how strong the female leads are.  They are not wilting flowers waiting for a man to come to the rescue.  I couldn’t help but admire them.

Then there’s the love interest.  Tristan had been investigating a smuggling cigar operation and it all led back to Lady Derrings’ husband.  After his death he needs to find out how much his widow was involved and if she’s continuing the illegal enterprise.  He’s reserved and calm, but I’ll admit it did take me some time to warm up to him.

In general the romance in this book is definitely a slow burn.  But once it got simmering I really enjoyed this story.  It’s also left me incredibly excited for the next book which was perfectly setup and teased at the end of this one.



She’d taken two steps when he said, his voice raised only a little, “Lady Derring . . . something puzzles me.”

She halted.

Closed her eyes.

Took a shuddering breath for courage.

Turned back to him. From the relatively safe distance of three feet, she said, “Surely not. We’ve established you know everything.”

His smile was small and patient. “You seem to excel at so very much here at The Grand Palace on the Thames. Yet you can’t seem to disguise how much you want me.”


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  1. I love the bluestockings or the wallflowers ones in the historical romances. Great review, I’m a fan of Julie Anne Long’s books, can’t wait to read this one!