Isn't the cover bold? Joanna Shupe is still a new to me author but so far I've enjoyed her style of writing. I can't say which book is my favorite yet since I have yet to read the first book in the series but I think it's going to be hard to beat this one!
While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels.
She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.
Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: May 26, 2015
A Marquess’ daughter, Lady Sophia Barnes doesn’t take no for an answer. Especially when she’s roaming London’s seedy underground…dressed as a man.
A rabble rouser for justice, Sophie’s latest mission is to fight for the rights of the poor, the wretched—and the employees at Madame Hartley’s brothel. She’s not concerned about the criminals who will cross her path, for Sophie has mastered the art of deception—including the art of wearing trousers. Now her fate is in her own hands, along with a loaded gun. All she needs is instruction on how to shoot it. But only one person can help her: Lord Quint, the man who broke her heart years ago. The man she won’t let destroy her again…
The last thing Damien Beecham, Viscount Quint, needs is an intrusion on his privacy, especially from the beautiful, exasperating woman he’s never stopped wanting. A woman with a perilously absurd request, no less! For Damien is fighting a battle of his own, one he wishes to keep hidden—along with his feelings for Lady Sophia. Yet that fight is as hopeless as stopping her outlandish plan. Soon all Quint knows for certain is that he will die trying to protect her…
No one but Lady Sophie Barnes seems to care about the plights of the lower classes which was why she had perfected the art of deception. Solving crimes no one else cares about, Sophie ventures into some of the worst parts of London dressed as a man. Soon though, she’s in over her head which forces her to turn to a troubled man from her past.
Damien Beecham, Viscount Quint just wants to fight his demons alone. He may be losing the battle that keeps him a virtual prisoner inside his own home, but that doesn’t mean he wants or needs help. Not that that stops Sophie from intruding on his misery and bringing unwanted emotions and hope into his life. As the two work together to solve Sophie’s case, Damien begins to see that the life he was so set on living now seems empty and lonely.
I still haven’t read the first book in this series but I think that The Lady Hellion is going to be THE book of the series for me.
I adored Lady Sophie’s personality. She was a great mix of determination, sass and vulnerability. What really caught my attention about her though was the fact that she cared enough about the lower classes that she risked her reputation, not to mention her life on a regular basis, all so she could help them. It wasn’t something she did for fun, out of boredom or rebellion, Sophie took risks because she was genuinely a good person who saw what was more important in life. She wasn’t a typical society miss. She didn’t scare easily either which was admirable. Her investigative skills were rusty but effective. I loved how she had been doing it on her own before Quint started helping her; it proved her efficiency and her independence in a time where women were suffocated by their gender and society’s expectations.
Equally engaging was Damien Quint. His inner battle was so real and made him more fallible which worked for me. Most times, the men are portrayed as virtually indestructible and invulnerable to something as normal as fear. Giving Quint such a debilitating conflict made him more human, more vulnerable to me and gave Sophie a chance to be the hero of the story. Even with Quint being held back most of the time, he was still a powerful presence in The Lady Hellion. His progress from the beginning to the end of the story was significant but I loved how author Joanna Shupe didn’t give him a quick fix. It was a work in progress, something that wasn’t going to be cured over night.
Another aspect of this story that I truly enjoyed was the mystery of Sophie’s case. What started off as a standard investigation quickly spiraled out of Sophie’s control. It grew into something more sinister than I had thought and it was the suspense and curiosity of who the culprit was and why that kept me up far past my bedtime. In the end, I was so wrong as to the who and why but it totally made sense once everything was explained.
I’m glad that the author saved Sophie and Quint for last; they would have been a tough act to beat had they been the first. There was plenty of romance in The Lady Hellion but it never overshadowed Sophie’s investigation nor did it paint Quint’s disability as something that wasn’t important. I was truly impressed and can’t wait to see what Joanna Shupe is going to do next.
Final Verdict: There's just something about a heroine taking the initiative that just reels me in. Lady Sophie is definitely one of my favorite characters ever.
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3 paperback copies of THE LADY HELLION
a Rafflecopter giveaway