This is the second in the author’s Dreamlight Trilogy. While the first had a contemporary, setting, this one takes the series back to Victorian England. I found the hero and heroine to be interesting and enjoyed this one more than the first in the series. The book features many of the author’s trademarks, including an intelligent hero and heroine and some witty dialog, and I can give it a qualified recommendation.
Orphaned at a young age, Adelaide Pyne was sent to a supposed school for young ladies; in reality, it was a brothel. Adelaide managed to escape before anything happened, and even managed to take a mysterious lamp along with her. Thirteen years later, Adelaide’s back in London, posing as The Widow. In this guise, she rescues girls from brothels and offers them a chance at a better life. No one knows her real identity until Griffin Winters tracks her down.
Griffin is one of London’s most powerful crime lords, although it’s not clear exactly what crimes he’s involved with, and the owner of the brothels is one of his chief rivals. While Griffin wants Adelaide to stop her raids for her own safety, he’s really interested in her psychic abilities.
There are a lot of plot similarities with the first book in the series. In that book, the heroine is a dreamlight reader, and the key to solving the hero’s problems. Same here. In both, the hero believes he’s developing a second psychic talent and will go mad. Same here. And once again, the hero, a member of the Winters’ family, is at odds with the Arcane Society and the powerful Jones family.
Despite these similarities, I enjoyed this one, thanks largely to the hero and heroine. Although Adelaide is now a reformer, she’s had an interesting past. After she escaped from the brothel, she made her way to America where she toured with a Wild West show. There were some funny moments when Adelaide would reveal some useful piece of information she’d learned while with the show. We know far less about Griffin and I would like to have learned more.
Amanda Quick was the first historical romance author I read, and some of her early works are much loved comfort reads. Was this one of the author’s best books? No, definitely not, and I wouldn’t recommend it as a standalone read or for someone who doesn’t enjoy the author’s Arcane Society books. However, I enjoyed it, and have found myself thinking about it quite a bit since I finished. Griffin and Adelaide definitely have their happy ending, but I find myself very curious about their future. I suspect they’re going to have some interesting experiences, and wouldn’t mind catching up with them again sometime.