TO CATCH AN EARL - Kate Bateman
England - 1816
Alex Harland, Earl of Melton, met the woman of his dreams at a masked ball four years ago. He couldn't convince her to reveal her name, but when he kissed her, when he smelled her exotic perfume, and when she smiled at him, he knew he'd never forget her. Now, back from the wars, he and his friends, Seb and Benedict, assist the Bow Street Runners in difficult cases. Alex has taken on the chore of discovering who the Nightjar is and why, after a four-year hiatus, he's back to stealing jewels again? And, since his return, Alex would also like to find the mysterious woman who so fascinated him.
Growing up as the daughter of the Nightjar, Emmy Danvers has learned from the best, despite abhorring what her father did. Emmy learned how to keep her secrets close to herself and her brother, Luc, and their grandmother. Unfortunately, four years after her father's death, and four years of clean living, the family has been blackmailed by another thief. It seems that the Nightjar only stole jewels that belonged to the French royal family, with the hope of someday, after Napoleon's defeat, the Bourbon royals would rule again, and the jewels returned to them. Danton, the son of the man the Nightjar had denounced for stealing the crown jewels, now wants them or he will reveal to all who the Danvers are.
Emmy and Luc have no choice but to follow the orders of this man. To make matters worse, Emmy has found out that Alex Harland, the man she has loved from afar since they kissed years ago, works for the Bow Street Runners, and he is on the lookout for Nightjar.
Because of Luc's war injury, Emmy must be the one to perform the jobs that Danton dictates be completed. He wants the remaining French royal jewels, or he will report to the Bow Street Runners who Nightjar is. If only Emmy hadn't run into Alex while on a reconnaissance mission at the British Museum where one of the stones is housed.
Book Two of the Bow Street Bachelors has an imaginative premise and two terrific opponents. Emmy is a reluctant thief, and Alex is a thorough detective. But he does have a heart.
TO CATCH AN EARL is, at times, heart stopping, and still oh so romantic.