- Title: The Gentleman’s Daughter
- Author: Bianca M. Schwarz
- Genre: Historical fiction
- Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Sir Henry, secret agent to the crown, must marry a lady above reproach to afford his illegitimate daughter entrance into society. After narrowly escaping marriage to a highborn bigot, he takes an assignment in Brighton, leading him to an abandoned abbey full of dark whispers, and a sinister secret society, the very one Henry has been investigating for three years.
Isabella is as beautiful as she is talented, but falling in love isn’t part of her plans. She only wants to paint, forget her painful past, and keep her overbearing mother at bay. But gaining one’s independence isn’t easy for a woman in 1823, so Isabella embarks on a fake courtship with Sir Henry. Soon, love and a painting career no longer seem so utterly incompatible.
But when the man Isabella fears most kidnaps her, all appears lost. Realizing the kidnapper is part of the same organization he is investigating, Henry chases after them. Entrapped in a web of secrets, both Henry and Isabella must face old enemies, and fight for their happily ever after.
I had not read the first book in this series, so I read that, first. There was a completely different love interest/live-in significant other in that book—set three years prior to this one—so the change was a little off-putting. I actually liked her quite a bit, so to see Henry just move on without batting an eye was bit much.
I feel like this series is an attempt at a Regency-era James Bond. Henry is a ladies’ man, wealthy, suave, and always manages to land on his feet. But he’s more of a caricature than a believable character, and the abrupt switch from the first book to this one made this just a “meh” read for me.
Bianca M. Schwarz was born in Germany. The Gentleman’s Daughter is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Central Avenue Publishing in exchange for an honest review.)