You always know when you start a Suzanne Enoch historical romance that you are in for a whirlwind ride. Her leading ladies are not always darlings of the ton and her heroes are sometimes not of the nobility but the way she pairs them up always keeps her reader guessing and the story racing along to a satisfactory and logical conclusion. Enoch is also very subtle in showing what the high society of the 18th and 19th century valued in its man and women. Women were no more than property and if left with no male relative to look after them, they were truly nonentities. Any man, no matter who his father was, who had to earn a living was considered "common" and even if he did well and earned a great deal of respect, he was still looked down on. If you read Enoch simply for the story you will have a good read, but if you look beyond the story you will also learn a great deal about English customs and nobility. You will certainly understand why the nobility was doomed and the English had to find an outlet for all that unused talent in its second sons and commoners.
In her series, The Notorious Gentlemen, Enoch uses all those threads to present smart women who are more than pretty faces and second sons and commoners to match up with them. In Book One of the series, After the Kiss, the unacknowledged bastard son of an upstanding Lord has made a very respectable life for himself as a horse breeder. Sullivan Waring, however, takes to the night as a thief, reclaiming the paintings his mother left him which were stolen from him by his father. On one of his nighttime raids, he encounters Lady Isabel Chalsey and he can't resist a stolen kiss. One kiss can lead to a lifetime of love or denial. Only Lady Chalsey and Sullivan can find their way through the maze of English propriety to their destination.
Book Two, Before the Scandal, introduces Colonel Phineas Bromley, a second son, and Alyse Donnelly, the lady he left behind. Phin has been called home because a series of unfortunate "accidents" has befallen his family's estate and his sister thinks Phin is the only one who can get to the bottom of the affair. Phin takes to the road as a highwayman to find the evidence he needs and instead finds Alyse in the coach he stops. He discovers that Alyse has been deposed from her position as the privileged daughter of a nobleman because her father failed to make arrangements for her upon his death. Her home and fortune are now controlled by her cousin and he doesn't like Alyse one bit. Together they find the perpetrator of the "accidents" and in so doing increase the danger to Alyse.
Don't miss this great series. The stories are fresh and the look at English high society is revealing!
The Notorious Gentlemen Series
After the Kiss (c2008)
Before the Scandal (c2008)
Always a Scroundrel (c2009)