THE HANDBOOK TO HANDLING HIS LORDSHIP by Suzanne Enoch

THE HANDBOOK TO HANDLING HIS LORDSHIP

KIRKUS REVIEW

When Nate Stokes, the Earl of Westfall, is hired to track down a murderess, he knows immediately there is more to the story than he’s been told, but he never expects that hunting down the clues will turn his life—and his heart—upside down.

Nate Stokes is an uncomfortable earl. After years as a successful spy under Wellington, he’s had great success taking on many different identities, but being a member of the highest echelons of society sits ill on him. One thing that helps him keep his sanity is solving the odd mystery here or there—usually tracking down lost items or people. But seeking a murderess outside the treacherous boundaries of war is a first, and when a marquis requests his services, Nate jumps at the chance. A little intuition and a great deal of luck take him to the Tantalus Club, the most famous gentlemen’s club in London, and straight into the arms of Emily Portsman, the intriguing, enigmatic figure who becomes his immediate prime suspect. Emily may be many things—brilliant, tantalizing and the first person to truly pique Nate’s interest in years—but Nate would bet his life she’s not a murderer. Good thing, too, since he just may have to. Enoch has penned a winner with this historical romance. It isn’t exactly a romantic suspense novel in the traditional sense, but it has a great deal of external tension that ratchets the internal conflicts of the characters. Nate’s difficulty in settling into the English aristocracy is handled deftly, and his sometimes-awkward attempts both to connect with and to protect his brother and Emily are sweet and tighten the backdrop of his moral struggles, while Emily’s cautious steps to freedom and trust are touching. The chemistry between Nate and Emily is intense, and Enoch does a superb job of using sex as a path to bringing them closer together, while also forcing them to question their own and each other’s motives. The resolution scene is especially fun and well-played.

A nicely crafted romance that brings a spy novel sensibility to a damsel-in-distress fugitive trope, with entertaining and rewarding results.

Pub Date: March 26th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-312-53454-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2013




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