Thursday, April 17, 2014

ARC Review: Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

Otherwise Engaged
Author: Amanda Quick
Publication: Putnam Adult (April 22, 2014)

Description: Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler, is accustomed to adventure and risk. Benedict Stanbridge, a man of science and a spy for the Crown, has faced danger in the darker corners of foreign lands.

But they are about to face a threat that is shockingly close to home . . .

One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. But Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after she is trapped in a carriage with a blade-wielding man in a black silk mask who whispers the most vile taunts and threats into her ear. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her . . . for now.

But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom, who has left a trail of female victims in his wake, has survived the wounds she inflicts and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by her scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge—gossip about their hours alone in a ship’s stateroom seems to have crossed the Atlantic faster than any sailing vessel could. Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him—as tenuous as it may be.

For a man and woman so skilled at disappearing, so at home in the exotic reaches of the globe, escape is always an option. But each intends to end the Bridegroom’s reign of terror in London, and will join forces to do so. And as they prepare to confront an unbalanced criminal in the heart of the city they love, they must also face feelings that neither of them can run away from. . . .

My Thoughts: With OTHERWISE ENGAGED Quick returns to an old familiar style and handles it excellently. This is an excellent mystery story without even a hint of the paranormal.

Amity Doncaster is a world traveler who hopes to write a book about traveling for gentlewomen. She rescues Benedict Stanbridge on a tropical island and nurses him back to health. Stanbridge is an upper class member of society who is wealthy and very interested in engineering. He is on a mission for his uncle to gather information on a possible solar weapon. It is his first and, if he has anything to say about it, last foray into the Great Game of spying.

However, chasing down a Russian spy who wants the plans is only part of the story. When Amity returns to London, she finds herself an object of gossip because of her suspected relationship with Benedict. The gossip draws the attention of a mad serial killer named the Bridegroom. When he kidnaps her in broad daylight, it is her quick wits and unusual weapon that saves her.

She and Benedict need to track down the Bridegroom before he kills again. And find the Russian spy. And fall in love.

Amity is an interesting character who considers herself a free-thinking, woman of the world. She is outspoken and rather eccentric. Benedict styles himself as a boring engineer who is very unlikely to ever write poetry to his love. However, Amity likes the man Benedict is.

A secondary romance between Amity's widowed sister and the Scotland Yard inspector assigned to the case also adds interest to this story.

Fans of historical mysteries and romances will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
The following morning, Amity Doncaster woke up to find herself notorious—for the second time that week.
I was chosen to read this eARC at Penguin's First to Read. You can buy your copy here.

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