ARC Reviews


Viscountess Of Vice. (Regency Reformers #3) by Jenny Holiday. ARC Review.

Secrets and lies, scandals and spies.

All Lady Catharine, Viscountess Cranbrook, wants is a little excitement. Bored of playing the role of the ton’s favorite slightly scandalous widow, she jumps at the chance to go undercover as a courtesan to help with an espionage mission. After all, beneath her outrageously low bodice beats the heart of a patriot.

Social reformer James Burnham is conducting a study of vice in England’s capital. Driven by his own secrets, he is methodical, intelligent—and wickedly handsome. Catharine is the last sort of woman the upstanding James should want. But want her he does, though she stands for everything he opposes.

When Catharine and James are forced to band together to advance their causes, they’ll be drawn into a web of secrets and lies that endangers their lives—and their hearts.

Catharine Chambers, the Viscountess Cranbrook is pretending to be a whore. She is in disguise, because even though in her "normal"life she is not the most respectable widow of the ton, this action would be beyond the pale. There is a very good reason for her behavior but that would not help her reputation, even if she could tell it.
Dr James Burnham is a reformer who is working for the betterment of the poor. He has a personal reason for trying to find the best ways to protect children from the effects of poverty.
These two protagonists couldn't be more mismatched, but that is what makes it such a good story. The intrigue and danger add to the mix. I found this book very hard to put down. Our hero is wonderfully sexy for a goody goody. Our heroine is nowhere near as bold and confident as she pretends. There are a few other secondary characters that might get books of their own.  I hope so. A very enjoyable read.

Jenny Holiday started writing in fourth grade, when her awesome hippie teacher, between sessions of Pete Seeger singing and anti-nuclear power plant letter writing, gave the kids notebooks and told them to write stories. Most of Jenny’s featured poltergeist, alien invasions, or serial killers who managed to murder everyone except her and her mom. She showed early promise as a romance writer, though, because nearly every story had a happy ending: fictional Jenny woke up to find that the story had been a dream, and that her best friend, father, and sister had not, in fact, been axe-murdered.

From then on, she was always writing, often in her diary, where she liked to decorate her declarations of existential angst with nail polish teardrops. Eventually she channelled her penchant for scribbling into a more useful format. After picking up a PhD in urban geography, she became a professional writer, spending many years promoting research at a major university, which allowed her to become an armchair astronomer/historian/particle physicist, depending on the day. Eventually, she decided to try her hand again at happy endings—minus the bloodbaths. 


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ARC received through 2016netgalleychallenge

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