I liked that this was set in 1700s London (and not Regency). It was a nice change. Someone is killing prostitutes in St Giles. The first one killed (or at least the first one that had someone to "care" for them) happened to be the mistress of Lazarus, Lord Caire. He decides he needs to find out who her killer was. Temperance, along with her brother, are running a foundling home. They are struggling to get by, having lost their patron. Temperance agrees to guide Lord Caire through the slums of St Giles in search of a killer in return for being introduced to wealthy gentlemen in the hopes of finding another patron for the Home.
While I liked both characters and got into their story, there were a few things that stood out and/or irritated me. The first thing is much is made of Lord Caire's proclivities; tying and blindfolding women for sex. I kept thinking there was going to be more, had to be more- does he beat, slap, or otherwise hurt them? No. Just the first part. There was so much build-up of how "abnormal" his proclivities were and then nothing........
The second thing was Temperance. Or maybe the general attitude of the time (and fuck, even to an extent, extending to today) was the attitude towards women and sex (Silence's treatment fits in with this too). She is punishing herself working with brother, avoiding pleasures because she (wait for it....) slept with another man who wasn't her husband! She lives in St Giles, were the poorest of the poor live. She lives with and helps abandoned children. THAT is what bothers her?! THAT is the greatest sin? Really?
Luckily Lazarus accepts her for all that she is. She had enjoy herself with him and it's wonderful. And vice versa.
I liked all of the secondary characters. Temperance has an interesting family. Silence and William had a secondary story in this. The heroine of the next book is introduced in this one and I think she could be interesting!
This is the first in a series. It will be interesting to see who is the Ghost of St Giles? The mystery of who the murderer was is wrapped up in this one. (The who and the why). William is an asshole. They REALLY like the names Mary and Joseph.
Ripped Bodice Bingo: Carriage Sex!
This next part is for me and my memory, and has spoilers so is behind the page break.
Wicked Intentions: Temperance and Lazarus. Temperance has 2 sisters, 3 brothers. Oldest is Verity: married, does not appear in book 1
Concord: married, children (5?) runs the brewery
Asa: single, no one knows what he does
Winter: single, runs the foundling home, teaches, he had a stab? wound to his back that only Silence saw and knew about- said he got it from a fall
Silence: married to William, a ships captain- who had his cargo stolen (all of it) and risks going to prison/hung. Silence, thinking to help, going to Charming Mickey (the person who stole the goods) to get them back. It works, but Silence had to spend the night with him. Nothing happened, but she had to make it look like it did. No one, not her family, believes her that nothing happened. William leaves again to go on a run.
Nell is the maid.
Mary Whitsun is one of the first children that Temperance rescues and she is very attached.
St John is Lazarus's friend, his wife (I assume), Clara is sick
Lady Hero- has the next book, she is the daughter and sister of a duke. She was very kind and non judgmental in this book.
the ghost of St Giles: Asa maybe?