|Pictured: Unashamed spankos|
The sense of time and place is so brilliantly evoked that you can almost smell it. The dark dingy streets of Whitechapel serve as the backdrop to Flora’s extraordinary adventure as she’s whisked from present day New Orleans to London in 1888 and straight into the path of Jack the Ripper.
The violence depicted in the early part of the book is visceral and bloody. Smith spares us none of the grisly details of the Ripper’s appalling crimes. Which makes it truly gut-wrenching when Flora’s own life is in danger because we know what the man is capable of.
Contrasting with the horror, is the natural, supportive and loving relationship between Draven and Flora. A relationship that starts, as so many great storybook romances do, with the hero rescuing a damsel in distress. In fact, Flora is not so much distressed as completely unconscious and when her consciousness does come back, her memory doesn’t come back with it.
Everything about this book is great. The dialogue is a joy to read. Making the hero a butcher by profession was a stroke of genius. I’ve been vegetarian for the last thirty years but now I’m wondering why all romantic heroes aren’t butchers? Not only can he see off bad guys with a vast selection of knives and the knowledge of how to use them, but he’ll then take you home and cook you a hot meal. What’s not to love about that?
|“Lay one hand on her and I will personally send you straight to the devil’s front gate.
We have a long-standing relationship, he and I. You can give him my regards.”
Stolen Moments is fast paced with plenty of plot twists to keep the reader on their toes throughout. Yet the love affair between the two main characters doesn’t seem forced or rushed. The author allows enough space in the tightly-plotted action for the two characters to get to know one another properly.
At one point in the story, Draven wonders if Flora is “simply a woman in the wrong place at the wrong time”. Flora may be a woman out of her own time but, it turns out, she is in exactly the place and time where she needs to be.
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