Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
I am beginning this review of a genre that is definitely not one of my favorites and yet this book was one that I loved, so if this genre is a favorite of yours then run don’t walk to buy it.
Auckland 1884 was a time when propriety was everything but nineteen year old Isabel Blackwood the Duchess of Sussex only cared about being a part of M17 a military intelligence organization that was founded by her dead parents. Her home is the headquarters now and with her empathic supernatural power she is determined to help find a serial killer who is freezing his victims before removing their hearts. The death count is presently up to sixteen but she has to convince Victor the head of M17 and his brother Jamie to allow her to assist.
Victor is aware of a new supernatural with the ability to become invisible and that is a supernatural he is sure can be very useful in catching the killer. So far he has refused to help and now Victor feels that Isabel may be the one to get him to join them. His name is Murk and he lives in squaller with two young men he is looking after. In spite of her plea for help she is also turned down. It is only due to a flood and one of Murk’s charges being ill that prompted him to offer his help.
Trigger and Frog are two young men who have had nothing but heartache in their young lives and now they are starving and one of them is very ill. Effie, Isabel’s cousin is a doctor and is willing to help so between her, food and a place to sleep the two young men should heal. Murk will do anything to protect Trigger and Frog and now that the three of them are in a safe place he is willing to help stop this viscous killer.
Jamie has been in love with Isabel for years and she has refused his advances even though at times she felt she might feel more for him than she first thought but when Murk came on the scene she realized that he was the one that excited her and he was the won she wanted even though he was considered nothing more than a street urchin.
Isabel has a guardian, Colonel Brandon a mean, deadly man and when he comes to the house his first order of business is to beat one of the boys and threaten to have them all thrown out. In those days all he needed to do was write a letter declaring Isabel mentally unfit and she would be thrown into an institution regardless of her title. She has two years before she is of age but two years is a long time and anything can happen. He wants her married to someone he can control because he is determined to take possession of the land the home is built on and doing so would be the end of a tribe of people who do own it. Only Isabel’s husband can change the agreement between the tribe and her father an agreement that I will not detail in this review.
Most books have a mystery or two but this one was chock full of mysteries, who is Murk, he is apparently educated but lives on the streets. Who are Trigger and Frog and what horrors did they live through, and then there is the mystery of who is the Heart Collector and why he is targeting supernaturals. I loved the romance that built between Murk and Isabel, I loved the two boys who were so afraid of doing anything that could get them thrown out of the house and back in the streets.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough since it had everything you could want in a paranormal suspense and I can’t wait for more.