Genre: historical romance / romantic suspense
Cover: I like them both, my ebook has the little cover
Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveller, 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. Now 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. Yet 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 they 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 neither of them can run away from . . .
I’ve been looking forward to reading a non-paranormal book by Amanda Quick for a while now, and Otherwise Engaged is a good one. It starts out with our heroine, Amity Doncaster, saving the life of the hero, Benedict Stanbridge, in an alley on a tropical island. The intrigue starts immediately when he asks her to deliver a letter to his uncle in London as he is dying … But Amity is not a timid miss, her father was a doctor and he thought her a few things. She patches up his knife wound, and takes care of him while on board the ship that will bring them to New York, and then to London.
When Benedict leaves the ship in New York to go on to California, he is almost completely healed thanks to Amity’s tender care. And they have become quite close, close enough that Amity hopes for something more. But when she is finally back in London, and he does not send her a letter or anything to let her know how he is doing, she is very disappointed. Someone has been spreading gossip about her and Ben on board the ship, and her reputation is in tatters. How will that affect the publishing of her new book, Travelling the world for ladies? And not only that, Amity becomes the target of a deranged serial killer. Only her quick wits and the use of her special fan, safe her life.
So when Benedict Stanbridge suddenly interrupts Amity’s breakfast and that of her sister Penny, who is recently widowed. On his way from the docks he heard all about Amity’s narrow escape from the Bridegroom’s clutches, and he is worried sick, he needs to find out if she is allright. Amity is not very happy to see him, to his own surprise, and when he offers to safe her reputation by pretending to be engaged to her, he is even more surprised that she doesn’t jump at the chance. He really likes Amity and admires her, and he hasn’t stopped thinking about her all those weeks. But Amity has been badly burned by a man when she was 19, he was actually the reason she started travelling the world. First to find her father who was in Japan at the time, and then just to see and experience it all. And she really does not need a man to safe her.
But Penny and Ben leave her little choice to accept his offer, to be escorted about town. The police that interrogated her did not seem very competent, so when a new police officer arrives to question her some more, the four of them decide to investigate together. As Amity thinks that the murderer is someone from the aristocracy, the inspector has little chance to get access in those ranks. And Penny sure can, and so can Ben, who will then take Amity with him.
I enjoyed this book so very much, I read it in one day. I loved how the relationship between Amity and Ben was not rushed, although they are very much attracted to each other. Amity was not very impressed with their first sexual interlude, and that was fun too. Although Amanda Quick has used that plot before, I like it. The first time just is not good. The hero has to work hard for his second chance and to redeem himself in the heroine’s eyes.
Amity had already figured out that Ben was working as a spy when she met him, and that was why he asked her to deliver a letter to his uncle in secret. And now she wants in on the intrigue, and know what it was all about. The worlds colemines are on the verge of running low, and the major countries in the world are rushing to find the next cheap energy source. Will that be oil, as the Americans hope, or solar energy? Ben is an engineer by trade and certainly not a spy, but his uncle who is one, asked him to visit a certain inventor and ascertain of his solar powered cannon would really turn the tables at sea. But before Ben arrived, the inventor was found murdered, and all his notes stolen. They think the Russians behind it all, and so the plot thickens, trying to find out who the Russian spy is, and even more important perhaps, his master.
So, a spy plot with an invention that might still be good today, a creepy killer to find and apprehend, a romance between Amity and Ben, and a secondary romance between Penny and the Inspector. A lot happened, action, humor and suspense. Everything that makes for a good Amanda Quick novel. I recommend it.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian