Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review: An Affair with Mr. Kennedy by Jillian Stone


All Zeno Kennedy wants is to keep the peace in London and to find evidence to identify the Bloody Four, a group of titled British gentlemen who are supporting the "Irish Question" --

All Cassie St. Cloud wants to do is to find a space of her own, away from her in-laws, so she can concentrate on her art. And she happens to find the perfect place, which happens to be the rooms beside Zeno's.

One of the suspected members of the Bloody Four is the new Earl of Rosslyn, Gerald St. Cloud and Zeno couldn't help but hope that there's a connection between his new tenant and the Earl.

Neither Zeno nor Cassie intend on pursuing any sort of relationship at this point in their lives and neither one count on being attracted to each other and, while most owner/tenant relationships are strictly hands-off and professional, Zeno's and Cassie's is anything but.

Zeno intended his acquaintance with Cassie to be part of his reconnaissance but he can't help but appreciate Cassie's wit, humor and allure. But as he gets closer to the truth about the Bloody Four, he puts Cassie's life in danger -- and now he races to save his country and his love.

When An Affair with Mr. Kennedy was released last year, I remember that it was very well-received and I was very intrigued by it -- I finally had the opportunity to get a copy earlier this year but it sat on my e-reader shelf for quite a while.

I'm glad to finally have had the chance to read it (thanks to the Reading Romances Challenge for last October) -- and I understand why this book (and this series) is very popular.

Jillian Stone is a refreshing new voice in historical romance -- Zeno and Cassie were very endearing characters and I fell in love with Cassie's family, the Erskines. (Such cool parents!)

Zak and Cassie's relationship develops in a very easy and "unrushed" way. The attraction is clear from the beginning and the progression towards the physical aspect happens without any fuss. Very seamless and organic.

And Stone's dialogue is amazing.

She tucked her arm in his. He took a long, appreciative glance at the lovely woman by his side. Indeed, she was stunning. This was the second time in so many days he wondered what she might look like in nothing at all. "You are entirely too distracting."

"What was that, Zak?"

He exhaled. "I'm having wicked thoughts about you."

She pressed sensuous lips together and a dimple emerged.

Halfway down the grand staircase he halted their descent. "Was that charming?"

A wonderful, slinky eye roll swept over him. "In a wolfish sort of way."
- p. 86

The way the author tackles the mystery of the Bloody Four and on the Irish Problem during the reign of Queen Victoria was also very well done. She takes a very objective stance and shows that Stone has done her research regarding one of the most defining political problems of the Victorian period.

As a debut novel, this one was a wonderful, fast-paced read and succeeded in introducing us to a new group of heroes: the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard.

An Affair with Mr. Kennedy is Jillian Stone's debut novel. This book was followed by A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis. (I found the second book in a bookstore during my recent trip -- and I couldn't resist and bought a copy!)

To find out more about the author and her books, visit her website. She's also on Facebook.

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