Erica Monroe: Secrets in Scarlet

His business is discovering secrets…

When a girl is murdered at a factory in London, Sergeant Thaddeus Knight of the Metropolitan Police comes in to investigate. But it’s not just the factory owners that Thaddeus wants information on–the devilishly intriguing Poppy O’Reilly is a puzzle he’d like nothing more than to solve.

Her life depends on keeping her past hidden….

All it took was one mistake for Poppy to lose her good reputation. Shunned by polite society, she’s retreated to the one place no one from her old life would look for her: the rookeries. Protecting her young daughter is the most important thing to Poppy, and Thaddeus threatens the false identity she’s carefully constructed. The last thing she should do is allow Thaddeus close to her family, yet she can’t stay away from him.

With danger around the corner, will the secrets of a scarlet woman lead to their undoing?

Looking for an escape from the traditional Reg Rom featuring the glittering ballrooms and parlors of the Ton?  Monroe emerges us in another side of Regency London, the rookeries, in this second book in the Rookery Rogues series.  The hero is a sexy Sargeant Knight who is a bookworm on a mission to solve a mystery.  Poppy is a sassy heroine with a past.  Sparks fly immediately.

I picked up Secrets in Scarlet on a recommendation via Twitter from the author herself after a robust discussion about Dukes and billionaire heroes (and how her books were not that, which frankly I get pretty fatigued by).  If you aren’t on Twitter following all the amazing historical romance authors out there, I encourage you to do so…if only for the conversations about romance, books, and other fun things that get shared and the great book recommendations.

Knight is definitely more beta than alpha in spite of his career.  Driven to protect women from violence, even at the displeasure of his family, he is the type of hero you can love instantly because he is just such a sweetheart.  He really is the perfect Knight for the era, marching the gritty and urban streets of London and protecting the most vulnerable people.

Poppy, on the other hand, is understandably world weary and due to her past masks her true self.  She is a factory worker, so knows long hours, hard work, and difficult working conditions.  Living with her family in the rookeries, Poppy’s life is focused on the simple pleasures.  She is also a bit of a bluestocking which gives her and the hero something to bond over.

The mystery woven throughout the story keeps the action pushing ahead and is not obvious, so those looking to be engaged in solving the crime along with the hero will be kept on their toes.  Monroe does a good job of weaving it historical details, speech patterns, and other aspects of the era without being overblown or underdone.

I found it a bit of a slow start, probably because it is so different than the formula hist-ro, but once the rhythm is established the plot takes off.  The romance is sweet, and has some of the snarky banter in the initial stages that histo ro readers love.  I had not read the first book in the series, and found it worked fine as a standalone with only a few set ups and throw backs to previous and future books.

If you are looking for something different and want to learn more about the other side of Regency/Victorian England I recommend you give Monroe a try.  I will definitely be picking up another of her books.

4 out of 6 Step away from the Ton and into the working class world in this suspenseful hist ro

Content Rating/Heat Index
Mature Contentwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Murder, violence and other assorted adult themes
Intimacywww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Fairly vanilla sex
Violencewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Murder, crime, sexual violence
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Best for readers not afraid of a little steam and violence.

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