Ames’ review of A Most Improper Rumor by Emma Wildes.
What is society to do when the diamonds of the first water are caught in compromising situations, one after the other? Can the young ladies survive the season with their reputations intact…or will the scandalous whispers surrounding them bring about the ultimate ruination?
Once the toast of the ton, Lady Angelina DeBrooke is no longer known just for her exquisite beauty, but more for her notorious marriages. Dubbed the Dark Angel, she has fallen in love for the first time and wishes to marry, but fears finding herself a widow for the third time. With two poisoned husbands and a cloud of suspicion hanging over her head, she turns to the only man in England who might help her…
Benjamin Wallace, Lord Heathton, isn’t interested in playing detective again, but when Lady DeBrooke approaches him in a quest to clear her name, he finds the challenge irresistible. Her second husband was an old friend, and when he takes a closer look, he catches the scent of a foe he has hunted before—and knows this is his chance to finally trap the elusive prey…
This is book 2 in the Whispers of Scandal series. You can my review of book 1, Ruined by Moonlight, here.
A Most Improper Rumor, like Ruined by Moonlight, features Benjamin Wallace and his wife Alicia. Because the story builds on the events from the previous book for this couple, I would suggest reading RbM. However, I do believe it could be read as a stand-alone. But it’s Emma Wildes – why wouldn’t you want to read the other book? *g*
Lady Angelina DeBrooke is in love and because her first two husbands were murdered, she needs help figuring out who did it so she can be free to marry her lover. As it stands, she is afraid that if she were to come forward with a new man, he would be killed. And she was hauled before the magistrate when her second husband died, so she wants to avoid that at all costs. And she’s heard that Lord Heathton has a talent for solving mysteries.
When Angelina first approaches him, Ben is at first unwilling to accept her case. He wants to settle down with his wife! But the more Angelina tells him, the more he’s sure that the person behind the murders is the mysterious villain from Elena’s kidnapping (from Ruined by Moonlight). He wants to know who the villain is, so he takes on her case. But things get personal real fast when he becomes the target!
I enjoyed a Most Improper Rumor. I liked how it picks up Benjamin and Alicia’s story again. And Alicia also helps out in this investigation as well. They’re great characters so it was good to see them as central to the plot.
Angelina and her mystery lover – I wasn’t as involved in their story. I seriously like Ben and Alicia that much! They overshadowed the other couple! But part of it could be that Angelina and her man are already in love. So this isn’t so much a typical romance in that we see two people meet, fall in love and get their HEA. Angelina needs to overcome this obstacle (of someone trying to ruin her life) to get her HEA. I was invested though. I wanted her to have that. But I kind of guessed who was behind things quickly. Which is ok, Ben was right behind me. LOL
There was also the introduction of two of Ben’s accomplices from his War Department days. I hope to see more from them in future books as well.
Overall, A Most Improper Rumor was a solid read with great characters. I’m giving it 3.75 out of 5. I recommend it.
You can read more from ~ames~ at Bookish Ames.