A few weeks ago I reviewed my first Harlequin romance novel and was not the biggest fan. Some of my twitter friends who had read my review convinced me to give it another go. I ordered some free books from the Harlequin ‘Silk and Scandal’ series and have to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised. Unlacing the Innocent Miss by Margaret McPhee is the sixth book in the ‘Silk and Scandal’ series, and reads as a stand-alone.
Rosalind Meadowfield lives in constant fear. Terrified that she will be discovered as the daughter of a man who has been hung for being a thief, she wills away her days as a lady’s companion. However even this guise can’t save her, as her employer’s necklace goes missing and she is tagged as the prime suspect. Even though she is not the actual thief, she runs away to evade capture so as not to face the same fate as her father. Alas, she does not escape and is captured by “Wolf” Wolversley, the famous thief-taker who is tasked with bringing such people into captivity. Interestingly, as they travel back to London, Wolf begins to understand that there is more to Rosalind then meets the eye, and he begins to doubt his better judgement in bringing her in for a reward. Even as Wolf begins to realize this, Rosalind cannot catch a break as the black cloud that has been following her ever since the beginning of the novel rears its ugly head and makes things even more complicated. What will happen between Rosalind and Wolf? Will she be saved from the fate of her father?
As I said earlier, I was pleasantly surprised with this novel! The fact that the entire plot didn’t revolve around sex scenes may have helped. The last Harlequin novel I read was literally just sex scenes with a story around it. Unlacing the Innocent Miss actually had a decent story idea that was filled with twists and turns all over the place. The sex scenes that are contained within the novel are placed in appropriate places, and are written in a tasteful manner that makes them part of the plot movement.
The characters were also intriguing and easy to follow along with. From what I understand, certain characters in this novel have appeared in one or more of the 5 prior books in the series. Each book can stand alone, but they have a central mystery that flows between all of them. I’m planning on reading the entire series now that I’ve read book 6 and 7. I’m interested in seeing how the central mystery of the series appears with more information and facts. It’s already full of danger, murder, and spies, and that’s just the little knowledge I have from these two books!
I’m still shocked that I liked a Harlequin romance novel, especially after my critical thoughts on His Lady Mistress. If all of their romance novels could start with a plot and focus on filling in the details of the story before writing anything else in the way of seductive passages, we would all be better off. Many accolades to McPhee for taking the high road on this one and building the story from the ground up.
4 out of 5 Stars
Unlacing the Innocent Miss by Margaret McPhee
Paperback 288 pages