Someone to Watch Over Me
I’ve read plenty of historicals with Bow Street Runners before, but Lisa Kleypas’ upcoming release, Someone to Watch Over Me, is the first I’ve read with a Runner as the hero. The novelty of this perked my interest immediately, though the hero’s initial behavior left something to be desired. Fortunately, his behavior improved. On the whole, this was a well-written book that lived up to its promise, becoming better and better as it went along.
Grant Morgan is a Bow Street Runner at the top of his game. He has a great reputation for solving difficult cases, and he runs a lucrative private practice on the side. But one night he is called to investigate a death on the Thames, and everything changes. The beautiful corpse starts moving, and he recognizes her as Vivien Duvall, the beautiful courtesan whose lies have humiliated him in front of the ton. Grant takes Vivien home and nurses her back to health, with an eye toward exacting revenge.
But Vivien can’t remember who she is, and she doesn’t seem like the cold-hearted schemer she used to be. All Grant’s servants love her; she’s making her own bed and acting like she’s unused to having work done for her. When Grant informs her of her former life, she is shocked and appalled. She doesn’t remember any of it, and she seems remarkably inexperienced. The only time she seems to remember anything is when she visits Grant’s library and picks up his books. She remembers lots of them, and has no trouble offering her opinion on philosophy and politics. Still Grant is sure she’s the nasty Vivien, until he receives irrefutable evidence in the form of her virginity. Now Grant must use all his skills to find out who she is and outwit her would-be killer, a man who may be closer than he thinks.
Someone to Watch Over Me is a fast-paced book, and Kleypas has a great writing style. The novel characters and plot held my interest all the way through, and the book got more and more exciting as it went along. By the end I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
“Vivien” is a unique and likable character, one who drives the amnesia plot and makes it work. Characters in romance tend to get amnesia far more often than the general population, and it doesn’t always seem believable. But here the heroine’s combination of innocence and horror at her former life makes the plot seem fresh. It is also refreshing to read about “common” people with real professions. In addtion to the Bow Street hero, there is also a handsome, single doctor. I’d love to read abook about him.
I did have a problem with Grant’s behavior. His treatment of the heroine was unnecessarily brusque, and at times he just seemed dumb as a box of hammers. Everyone around him could see that the “Vivien” was not who he thought she was. When she remembered books, but not sex, that should have told him something. Basically, I thought that his early treatment of her merited some serious groveling on his part, and he didn’t grovel quite enough to suit me.
However, his love for the heroine redeemed him somewhat, and I was willing to forgive him enough to enjoy the book, especially during the exciting last third or so. This is the first book I have read by Lisa Kleypas, and I was impressed by her writing style. Someone to Watch Over Me is worth a look, especially if you have enjoyed Kleypas’ other offerings.