John Pickett is back!
If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for Sheri Cobb South's Regency mystery Family Plot, the continuing story of the mutual attraction between Bow Street Runner John Pickett and the widowed Julia, Lady Fieldhurst.
The Fieldhursts have banished Julia to Scotland because of the unwanted attention her husband’s murder has attracted, and also because she pays too much attention to a certain Bow Street Runner. As long as they’re banishing her, they use her as an escort and babysitter for the current Lord Fieldhurst’s sons. En route to the nobleman’s estate, they take a detour to the coast, and to prevent anyone from tracing them, Julia assumes the name Mrs. Pickett.
Things heat up when a woman washes ashore, one who professes she’s the long-lost daughter of a prominent local family. Things heat up more when the family hires John Pickett to investigate the woman’s story. Not only does he find secrets, but also a “wife” he didn’t know he had, and one he desperately wants to claim.
Ms. South has crafted a fine Regency, full of the language and social customs of the time, the continuing love interest of John and Julia, and a mystery convoluted enough to satisfy die-hard fans of the genre.
But the best part of the novel is the dance between John and Julia as they try to deny their increasing feelings for each other. Who says you need sex in a story? I much prefer the slow burn between John and Julia.
I love John Pickett. He’s the best type of hero: honorable, competent, intelligent, kind, self-made. And he’s young and gorgeous, too, which certainly doesn’t hurt. :) He’s also madly in love with Julia, and she with him, but the social gulf which separates a Bow Street Runner, son of a pickpocket, from a well-born widow of a baron, is too vast for them to bridge. Or is it? Will true love triumph?
Julia shows herself to be more than just a pretty face. Bullied by her husband’s family and the customs of the time, she questions why she lets this happen. Her transformation is at hand, and by the finale she proves herself a woman to be reckoned with. My kind of heroine.
If you’re rooting for John and Julia, you’ll adore the end! But don’t peek. Save the surprise for the last. You’ll be glad you did.
Thank you all,
ARC provided by the author