Pages - 384 pages
Publisher - Avon
Published - May 1, 1999
Kindle - link
Genre - Regency Romance
Series - Bow Street Runners 1 of 3
Language - mild
Sexual Content - 4:5
She couldn't remember who she was...
A temptingly beautiful woman awakens in a stranger's bed, rescued from the icy waters of the Thames, her memory gone. Told that she is Vivien Rose Duvall, one of London's most scandalous beauties, she finds herself under the protection of enigmatic, charming Grant Morgan. Her life is in his hands. Deep in her heart, she knows he has mistaken her for someone else...
He was the only man she could trust.
As one of London's most eligible and unattainable catches, Grant Morgan is a man who has known every kind of woman. And the one in his arms now seems so innocent, so vulnerable, that he can't help but be enchanted. And as his love for this mysterious beauty grows, he's determined to unravel the secrets of her past and discover the truth -- no matter what.
Third time reading the Bow Street Runners series, and I'm still not as disappointed as some of her other 'fans'.
The story of Grant Morgan and Vivien Duvall is somewhat predictable yet exciting when being sucked into the action so soon and enjoying every minute of it.
Grant came off as the hardened, street-smart do-gooder he became, and someone who has had more than his fill of the ton and their exclusionary ways.
Although considered overly handsome and self-made money-wise, Grant is still a commoner and not someone the members of the ton wish to become emotionally or personally involved with -- aside from the few wealthy widows who are anxious to get him between the sheets.
He works for Sir Ross Cannon as a Bow Street Runner, and the opening scene has him meeting a Waterman on the docks to retrieve a woman's body that has just been recovered from the Thames.
When Grant rolls the body over and starts to check for a pulse, the woman coughs up water, startling him and the Waterman.
When Grant sees her face and realizes he knows the woman, he's stunned once more.
His memories resurface about a time not long ago when he attended a house party and fell madly in lust with a beautiful courtesan named Vivien Duvall.
The seasoned money-grubber snubbed him once she realized he was no more than a government employee and not titled or wealthy enough to support her.
Grant would have been cavalier about it and gone his way except that Vivien made it a point of spreading awful rumors about him, and that more than her initial snub is what makes him so angry now.
Still, he takes the woman to his home near the office and orders his dutiful and proud servants to take care of her to the best of their abilities.
When Vivien awakens, she has no idea who she is, where she is, why she is there, or what has made the handsome man now taking such good care of her so angry and disappointed in her.
Grant struggles for much of this story with his angry bitterness and an inability to tamp down the growing desire he still has for the pretty, petite redhead.
As the story unfolds, we see just how unlike a courtesan this amnesiac behaves, so we know rather early on that Grant has mistaken her for someone else.
Even his servants drop hints about the obvious signs, but as Grant digs into Vivien's life and her past dealings with the many protectors she's been involved with, his anger and resentment grow.
Which is why I say he is well-developed, completely who he should be throughout, and not at all the masochistic brute some of the negative reviews claim him to be.
But, I'm not going to continue to try pointing out to these reviewers that behavior and mentality in another century was nothing like it is today, and that if they are so intent on pointing it out as being awful, then they should stick to Contemporary Romance and leave the historicals to folks like me, who are able to appreciate those differences without getting my uptight panties in a bunch over absolutely nothing.
Grant was relate-able, overly hyper, and too attached to his dangerous job to come off as anything other than the rough & tumble sort.
He was sexy, attentive, and displayed a good amount of thoroughly mixed up emotions to make him as frustrated a man fighting against love as he should be.
I like the Bow Street Runners concept and learning the in's and out's of that effective yet damned branch of London history.
I like that Lisa chooses to create everyday heroes out of non-titled men and develop them into as great, if not better than, the expected Earls, Dukes, and other nobility figures most Regency Romance novels revolve around.
My only real disappointment in her writing continues to be the sex scenes, which tend to start out the same way, develop at the same tempo, and crescendo in about the same manner.
This is Book 1 in the Bow Street Runners series, and we meet Ross Cannon, who stars in Book 2, where we meet Nick Gentry, who stars in Book 3.