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A Dangerous Deceit

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Dangerous Deceit (2017) Alissa Johnson

Miss Jane Ballenger is a spinster and a recluse. This is due to the fact she has difficulty hearing, and so avoids going out in public.

At one point, he related a story involving three turnips and a brick. She was fairly certain she had misheard that bit, but she enjoyed even that interlude of nonsense.

Gabriel Arkwright is a bit of a rake–he likes to drink and he likes women–but he is also very good at his job, able to take on whatever role is needed to get information. But he can’t figure out how to charm Jane Ballenger.

(D)idn’t the papers dub him the…” She thought back to the piles of literature Rebecca had brought with her to the cottage. “The Charming Thief Taker, or some such? The Thief Taker most likely to seduce his prey? Something along those lines?”

“One can be charming and honest.” Mrs. Harmon scooted forward in her chair and adopted a hopeful expression. “Did he charm you?”

“I was charmed by the offer of fifty pounds.”

Although Jane has physical difficulties, Gabriel is really the bigger mess, even though he hides it exceedingly well.

There was nothing amiss with his appearance. He made sure of it. Always. Mostly because he still remembered what it had been like to feel filthy, but also because a fine appearance served as a mask and shield. People rarely bothered to look deeper when they were satisfied with what they found on the surface.

He ached to strip down on the spot, dive in, and soak himself until every last speck of dust and grime floated away. He needed to be clean again, so much so that it was starting to become a distraction.

I think what I particularly liked about this story is that both Jane and Gabriel had very good reasons to hide things from each other–so the misunderstandings that develop are logical (although distressing) and when they finally share their secrets, it was with a good deal of faith that the other will not use those secrets against them.

I especially like Jane’s guardian/housekeeper, who understand Jane, but still tries to push her. And she has a LOVELY description of love.

“Maybe it’s not love. It could be infatuation. I’ve never experienced love before, so how can I be certain what it feels like?”

“You leapt from a moving train to keep Mr. Harmon and me safe. You know perfectly well what love feels like.”

This is another lovely story and an excellent conclusion to the series.
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    



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