STARRED REVIEW
June 26, 2018

Rejects in love

By Minerva Spencer
Review by

Dangerous is the first in Minerva Spencer’s new Outcasts series of Regency romances, and it has such deliciously juicy backstories for its charming protagonists that it’s impossible to imagine anything topping it. The devilishly delectable hero—Adam de Courtney, Lord Exley—is known as the Murderous Marquess due to the mysterious deaths of both of his former wives, and the heroine has spent nearly two decades in a sultan’s harem! Though English born and bred, Lady Euphemia “Mia” Marlington was abducted by corsairs while sailing through the Mediterranean when she was just 14. She survived 17 years of cutthroat palace intrigue before she was rescued and returned to England, to the shock and embarrassment of her extremely stuffy father, the Duke of Carlisle. The duke is, in fact, so very eager to marry her off and get his scandalous daughter out of his house that he’ll even push her towards the widely-shunned Lord Exley, who has three daughters from his previous marriages but lacks a son and heir.

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Dangerous is the first in Minerva Spencer’s new Outcasts series of Regency romances, and it has such deliciously juicy backstories for its charming protagonists that it’s impossible to imagine anything topping it. The devilishly delectable hero—Adam de Courtney, Lord Exley—is known as the Murderous Marquess due to the mysterious deaths of both of his former wives, and the heroine has spent nearly two decades in a sultan’s harem! Though English born and bred, Lady Euphemia “Mia” Marlington was abducted by corsairs while sailing through the Mediterranean when she was just 14. She survived 17 years of cutthroat palace intrigue before she was rescued and returned to England, to the shock and embarrassment of her extremely stuffy father, the Duke of Carlisle. The duke is, in fact, so very eager to marry her off and get his scandalous daughter out of his house that he’ll even push her towards the widely-shunned Lord Exley, who has three daughters from his previous marriages but lacks a son and heir.

It’s a match made somewhere very far from heaven, and yet, despite a bumpy beginning, a strong relationship quickly falls into place. Mia’s spent too much time being judged by society to give credence to the rumors about Adam, who is so frustrated by society’s fakery that he relishes his wife’s uninhibited boldness. Not only is Mia stubborn and outspoken, she’s also sensual and passionate, with none of the bashfulness or uncertainty about her body sometimes seen in Regency heroines. While the intimacy between the characters quickly steams up the pages, it is actually remarkably sweet to see how his wife’s open, easy affection softens Adam’s long-frozen heart. The tenderness that develops between them makes it all the more dramatic when the secret Mia has kept—the one that has driven all her decisions, down to her choice to marry Adam—rises up and threatens to tear their marriage apart.

With so much going on, and such high stakes, it’s perhaps inevitable that some elements feel rather unfinished. Characters who seem important in early scenes disappear entirely in the book’s second half. Some plot elements are mentioned once and then never brought up again. But with a story this giddy and exciting, it’s hard to blame the author for getting a little carried away. Spencer certainly succeeds in sweeping the reader up in the same dizzying whirl! Sexy and wildly entertaining, Dangerous is a promising romance debut.

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Dangerous

Dangerous

By Minerva Spencer
Zebra
ISBN 9781420147193

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