Title: An Affair with Mr. Kennedy
Series: The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard #1
Author: Jillian Stone
Genre: Historical, Late Victorian
London, 1887. Part stoic gentleman, part fearless Yard man, Zeno “Zak” Kennedy is an enigma of the first order. For years, the memory of a deadly bombing at King’s Cross has haunted the brilliant Scotland Yard detective. His investigation has zeroed in on a ring of aristocratic rebels whose bloody campaign for Irish revolution is terrorizing the city. When he discovers one of the treacherous lords is acquainted with his free-spirited new tenant, Cassandra St. Cloud, his inquiry pulls him unexpectedly close to the heart of the conspiracy—and into the arms of a most intriguing lady.
Cassie is no Victorian prude. An impressionist painter with very modern ideas about life and love, she is eager for a romantic escapade that is daring and discreet. She sets her sights on her dour but handsome landlord, but after she learns their meeting was not purely accidental, she hardly has a chance to forgive her lover before their passionate affair catapults them both into a perilous adventure.
This is the debut historical romance of Jillian Stone, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more of her work. I see a lot about readers who are tired of “wallpaper historicals” and who want to truly be swept away by the rich details of the period in which the book is written. AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY is definitely not a wallpaper historical, and for that alone I feel it deserves a 5-star rating.
In addition to the rich details of the time period, I also really enjoyed the characters of the hero and heroine. Both came alive on the page for me and were interesting, and their interactions were fun to read about. The subplot, too, was a lot of fun to read and we get to travel from London to the heroine’s family’s country estate over the Channel to Calais and then to Paris. I also think her secondary characters and the pacing for most of the book (see below) were wonderful. Truly, this could have been a 5 star book.
However, the reason I cannot give it an A is because although I did believe in the couple’s HEA, I never felt the emotional connection between them. There were many opportunities where Ms. Stone could have slowed down the pacing a little and explored the emotion between them more, to let the reader bask in the glow of their romance, but instead I felt that these scenes were abruptly cut short to continue on with the rest of the plot.
I did really enjoy AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY–Ms. Stone’s writing is a breath of fresh air for the historical genre–but I do hope to experience more of the romance and the emotional connection between the heroes and heroines in her future books.