Friday, May 11, 2012

The Malorie Phoenix by Janet Mullany

The Malorie Phoenix
She plays a deadly game, but nothing is as dangerous as love.
Benedict de Malorie, Earl of Trevisan, can never forget the masked woman he met one night at a London pleasure garden. The clever pickpocket stole his heart and his family's prized jewel - the Malorie Phoenix. But the family treasure reappears in Benedict's darkest hour, returned by its thief, along with the unexpected gift of his infant daughter.
Believing that she is dying, Jenny Smith leaves her daughter in the custody of the baby's blueblood father. Seven years later she finds herself in good health and alone, yearning for her only child. To raise enough money to support them both, she takes part in a daring escapade that requires her to impersonate a woman of quality. She fools the ton and Benedict himself.
When Jenny finds herself entangled in a murderous plot against Benedict, the father of her child, her carefully laid plans begin to fall apart. All she wants is her daughter back, but she never thought she'd fall in love with Benedict. Revealing her part in the plot means she will almost certainly lose Benedict and their daughter forever. But continuing to play her role puts them all in terrible danger.

Sooooo good! The Malorie Phoenix starts off quickly, with the first scene being a seduction and a theft. After that, it doesn't slow down as a high stakes, incredibly complicated web is spun that traps both of the main characters. From beginning to end, this book is never anything less than amazing.

The characters are intriguing and likable. Jenny Smith is definitely unconventional in the world of romance. She's a pickpocket turned mistress, who has done whatever it took to survive. She gives her child to the father, Benidict-the Earl of Trevisan-to give her a better life. Six years later, she enters a plot centered around the Earl in order to see her child again. She's very devoted to her daughter. She's also unapologetic about what she does for a living. She does what she has to do, accepts the world for the way it is, and doesn't need to explain herself to anyone. It was very refreshing.

Benidict is a total sweetheart, as well as incredibly attractive. He's so adorably sweet to his daughter and a perfect husband to Jenny-even though he doesn't know who she really is. I loved how he was able to accept Jenny as she was, even knowing about her past. When he finds out about the whole scheme Jenny got herself embroiled in, I was surprised about how well he took it; you'd think he was more upset. What's even more surprising is how he finds out. But regardless, I adored this lovely Earl.

The plot, as I said, is fast-moving. You never know what to expect as the scheme gets more and more complicated. The ending is sweet and a perfect tie-up.

Everything about this book is brilliant. LOVED it!


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy

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