Never Blow a Kiss

Forever: Grand Central. (The Secret Society of Governess Spies, Bk. 1). Jan. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781538740521. pap. $16.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
DEBUT Passion ignites as a governess and a detective investigate murders in 1838 London. Emily has determinedly worked to escape her past by becoming a respectable governess, but her street smarts attract the attention of a secret network of fellow governesses who monitor the ton. A serial killer is targeting sex workers, and the governesses are seeking justice. Also on the case is Detective Zach Denholm, who hailed from a working-class family before making his fortune. During an assignment, Emily blows a kiss Zach’s way, teasing him for being surrounded by mothers of marriageable daughters. Zach is immediately enraptured by her, but Emily’s secrets threaten to keep them apart. Both protagonists’ humble beginnings gratifyingly juxtapose the ton’s decadence and its disregard for the killer’s victims, while Zach’s respect for Emily’s autonomy makes him the perfect match for her strong will.
VERDICT An exceptional debut, braided with banter, wit, chemistry, and intrigue; perfect for fans of Tessa Dare’s humor and the cunning feminism of Sarah MacLean’s “Hell’s Belles” series.
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