Desert Isle Keeper
The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes
Cat Sebastian continues her romp through Georgian England with the second half of her Kit Webb duology, The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes. Spirited, spunky, and though perhaps a little too swiftly paced, but is still worth a look.
Marian Hayes, Duchess of Claire, has shot her two-timing husband to (a presumable) death. (When he married Marian he was still legally contracted to marry another woman.) She’d been forced to marry him against her will, and now believes him to be a murderer, so it’s no big loss. That’s just the very start of her unusual journey, which involves staying on the run to avoid the authorities. Maybe they’ll believe her story of self-defense – or will arrest her for murder. But first they’ll have to find her.
Rob Brooks is a born scallywag – a highwayman who picks pockets in his own time. He’s been trying to blackmail Marian over her husband’s bigamy, but instead, they have instead developed an affinity for one another. When she shoots her husband, Marian decides to convince Rob to go on the run with her through the English countryside.
The twosome proceed to have a lot of fun drinking and picking pockets and avoiding the law – and nursing sick cats back to health. But it turns out Rob’s got a secret that ties him back to Marian’s husband. Will they ever be able to clear her good name?
Well, when they’re having this much fun, why would they even want to? The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes rollicks. Its heroine is a serious grump, its hero is like a Georgian Autolycus, lighthearted and sly, and the bigger romantic of the two of them. They ride across the countryside and banter on horseback and learn how to swindle with ease. They are both delights to follow from start to finish.
Sebastian allows Marian her imperfections – she’s got a sharp tongue, she’s grumpy. She is not a maternal person, yet she’d do anything for her daughter. The book avoids clichés and instead allows merriness and love in.
The book does have some flaws. You really need to have read The Queer Principles of Kit Webb to understand the origin point of the blackmail plot and who everyone is, and the romance between Marian and Rob feels abruptly developed, but their personalities ultimately pull the book through and make it a completely worthwhile experience. You have to take the bitter with the better, after all.
Again: who would want traditional when you have these two to read about? Rob and Marian practice light bondage and figure out how to avoid the kind of penetrative sex which might result in another near-deadly pregnancy for Marian. She makes him swoon, he makes her fall. And when it comes to a good Cat Sebastian novel, what more do you really need?
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
|Review Date:||June 7, 2022|
|Book Type:||Historical Romance|
|Review Tags:||bisexual | bisexual heroine | Georgian | Queer romance | road romance | thief | thief heroine|
I guess I don’t know how to do the spoiler tag, Sorry. Although it really isn’t a spoiler for book 1 since it’s revealed very early on.
Don’t know what happened there, but it’s fixed :)
Thank you, will ask Caz to fix that!