If you’re a fan of Jennifer Ashley’s Highland Pleasures series (and I so, so am) then you will be excited to finally get Fellows and Louisa’s story. If you aren’t sure who Fellows and Louisa are… Fellows is the bastard MacKenzie brother and Louisa is the sister to Isabella from Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage. They’ve danced around each other for a while, have shared two passionate kisses, but are still admiring each other from afar as they are from too very different worlds. Fellows was raised in St. Giles by his mother and learned early on how to fight dirty and scrape for everything he’s ever had. Being claimed by his MacKenzie brothers hasn’t changed him, he’s still a simple man, but he has bettered himself and is now a Detective Inspector for Scotland Yard.
Regardless of her father cheating half the ton out of money before he died Louisa Scranton is still accepted as a Lady. She needs a husband, but the only man she wants is the one she sees at every family function. But now she has gotten herself in a bit of trouble. While at a garden party the man who had just extended an offer of marriage (along with a threat of blackmail) has dropped dead at her feet. It looks like poisoned tea was the culprit and as she was the last to see him alive, she is now the prime suspect in his murder. Thankfully Fellows was called in to investigate. He knows how the system works, and since this is a high-profile case any other inspector will take in the obvious suspect and let a judge sort it out. He doesn’t want this for Louisa. In order to keep her safe he will break his own rules and run every clue to the ground to find the real killer.
Let me just say first that I enjoyed the heck out of this novella. Jennifer Ashley never lets me down. How she managed to fit such a satisfying, complete story into so few pages I will never know, but she did. We’ve caught glimpses of Fellows and Louisa over the course of this series, but haven’t really gotten to know them. Fellows holds himself back from Louisa, he almost seems kind of cold at first. Oh, but his thoughts of her are anything but cold.
Lovely, lovely femininity. Fellows was no saint, but he hadn’t been with a woman in a good long while, not long enough to be able to look upon Louisa Scranton without wanting her.
No, it wouldn’t matter if Fellows came to her sated and exhausted from weeks of passion– he would still want her.
As the investigation progresses Fellows tries to push her away over and over, but she just won’t allow him to set her aside so easily. Especially when she discovers proof of his devotion. They have a quiet passion. Fellows isn’t the sort to give flowery speeches or act the dandy, but his thoughts of her and dedication to doing everything possible to keep her safe are pretty sexy. Louisa is a lovely heroine, I’d always imagined her as being more of a pushover, but she is anything but that. This isn’t as sexy as some of Jennifer Ashley’s other works, but it was a rather sweet romance and the one sex scene was very satisfying.
The whole MacKenzie family makes appearances, Daniel especially plays a big part in bringing these love birds together. I can’t wait until later this year when he gets his own story. I can’t imagine any heroine being good enough for him, but after reading the teaser I have hope. Final Grade- B
Fellows went on, hips rocking. He needed her, needed all of her. He couldn’t form the words, but the thoughts were there.
You are the beauty I’ve been seeking all my life. My existence was dark, grim, full of struggle, until you. You are the light that pushes the darkness away. When I’m with you, I can see my way, and I can breathe again.
All that came out was, “I love you.”