The bad news: This book does not end with a happily ever after. The good news: Because it’s book 1 of a trilogy! Will and Kim have fabulous and intense chemistry that only enhances the plot they’re embroiled in, and I look forward to seeing their relationship develop throughout the next two books.

As always, Charles does a fantastic job with both her characters and plot. Even secondary characters Phoebe and Maisie and antagonists in the form of War Office officers and secret society madman Libra shine off the page. The story they find themselves in has its roots in early 20th-century pulp adventures. There is enough action and adventure for excitement, but it never becomes contrived or completely implausible.

Also, there’s a bookstore. You can never go wrong with a bookstore.

It turns out I have a soft spot for principled characters whose ideas of honor are on entirely different ends of the spectrum. Together, they solve mysteries! Only it’s not so simple as that, with a healthy dose of fantastic sexual tension and political intrigue. Charles is a “drop everything and read” author for me, and this latest book measures up to that standard.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.