Wrecking a marriage is generally no problem for the divorce-obtaining Lady Malice Mallender. But she faces a dilemma when she’s asked to ruin her own. Just how businesslike should she remain when the marriage was never consummated and kissing her husband leads to Sin—a handsome Viking who wants her for a bed slave in name only?
She came from another time.
Viking raider Sin Gudrunsson wants one thing. To marry his childhood sweetheart. Only she’s left him before, so he needs to keep her on her toes, and a bed slave, in name only, seems just the thing. Until he meets Malice.
One kiss is all it takes to flash between two times.
But when one kiss is no longer enough, which will it be? Regency London? Or Viking Norway? Will Malice learn what governs the flashes? Can Sin?
Where worlds collide, can love melt the iciest heart?
Lady Malice is not your typical Regency heroine but she is compelling and strangely likeable. A victim of an arranged marriage, she is still, woefully innocent and unfulfilled. Maybe this is why she enjoys her chosen career so much?
Destroying marriages is an unusual pursuit for a married lady but it keeps her in shoes and stops her thinking about her own disastrous nuptials. Faced with an unthinkable dilemma she seeks out her errant husband to carry out her latest commission, with life changing results.
The time slip is seamless and the shift from Regency drawing room to Saxon village under Viking attack, swift and shocking. Malice’s surprise and fear is tangible but her cynical outlook and sharp tongue remain. Both traits help her withstand the unexpected ordeal, despite the carnage surrounding her.
Sin is less than impressed with the latest slaves but he needs a bed slave to keep his fickle fiancée interested. Malice is no one’s slave but she finds Sin hard to resist. The chemistry between the courtesan and the Viking is memorable, despite the incongruity of their situation.
I loved the inconvenient time travelling and the gradual reveal of its meaning. Malice is prepared to risk all for her man and her strength and tenacity are legendary.
I purposely delayed writing this review for a few days, to see what I could remember. Malice, Sin and their compatriots’ formidable personalities, are easy to recall.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Some secrets are best left buried…
Researching her family tree had been little more than a hobby – until Katie stepped onto Kingsley House’s sprawling, ivy-strewn drive. The house may be crumbling today, but it was once the intimidatingly opulent residence of the St Clair’s, Katie’s ancestors. Arriving here two hundred years later, emotion stirs in Katie: a strange nostalgia for a place she’s never seen before… and when Kingsley House comes up for sale, Katie is determined that her family must buy it.
Surrounded by the mysteries of the past, Katie’s pastime becomes a darker obsession, as she searches through history to trace her heritage. But she soon discovers that these walls house terrible secrets. And when forgotten stories and hidden betrayals come to light, the past seems more alive than Katie could ever have imagined.
Moving between the 21st and 19th centuries, The Emerald Comb is a hauntingly evocative novel.
‘The Emerald Comb’ is two stories; one historical, the other contemporary, cleverly interwoven with conflict, mystery and passion. The action slips seamlessly from Bartholomew St Clair’s 19th century confessions to the 21st century consequences experienced by Katie our heroine. It is an absorbing read.
Katie delves into her ancestry bitten by the contemporary obsession with genealogy. What she finds leads to a house move and more mystery than answers. A possible ghost and a macabre discovery in the garden of their newly moved into house force Katie to question the wisdom of delving into her past. She can’t stop. Genealogy gives Katie an identity and focus, something she is in danger of losing amidst her demanding children and unhelpful husband. Seen only from Katie’s point of view Simon often seems rather a difficult man to like, who treats her hobby with disdain.
The story highlights parallels between the past and Katie’s present life. The secrets both historical and contemporary are resolved in a credible way. The ending is a great bit of dramatic irony. A little inconclusive from Katie’s perspective but complete for the reader who knows what really happened. A classy, readable story.
I received a copy of this book from Carina UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars