The Wedding Night Affair

Carina. (Ash & Juliana, Bk. 1). May 2021. ebk. ISBN 9780369702890. $5.99. M
After a wedding night filled with horrific abuse, Lady Juliana Uppingham wakes up in a pool of blood; her new husband is dead, with a dagger in his chest. Juliana is immediately accused of murdering him, but she is spared from being locked up at London’s Newgate Prison; instead, she’s placed under the protection and care of lawyer Edmund “Ash” Ashendon. With Ash, she sees a way of life different from her cold upbringing and begins to mentally and physically heal. But untangling what really happened on her wedding night leads to a mounting body count and deadly ties to London’s seamy underbelly and an emerging criminal mastermind called the Raven. Ash easily moves between high and low society as he conducts his criminal investigations, while Juliana’s lifetime spent as her father’s pawn has honed her observation skills, giving her a valuable part in the search for her husband’s real killer. Meanwhile, Juliana’s father attempts to handle the scandal of the murder, through which this book offers a pointed look at the role of women and wealth in London society. Set in the early Georgian period, Sharp’s mystery also incorporates several real-life historical figures, including the Fielding brothers, who oversee London’s Bow Street Runners police force, and Thomas Pelham-Holles, who is the Duke of Newcastle and will eventually become prime minister.
VERDICT This first entry in a new series will immerse readers in Sharp’s historical details, while Juliana comes into her own as she and Ash track down the Raven.
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