Bec McMaster did it again!
I have loved all of the books in this series so far, the characters are lovable rogues and you find yourself routing for them from the beginning, I was really looking forward to this book, as my interest in the young Will Carver aka The Beast of Whitechapel was certainly piqued from the snippets of him that you got in books 1 and 1.5, so I was really looking forward to sinking my teeth into a book about Will, and I wasn't disappointed.
Our main characters in this book are Lena (Honoria's younger sister) and Will (Blade's second in command). Lena left Whitechapel a year ago to return to the white tower and the Echelon as her half brother's (Leo Barrons) Ward because she felt there was nothing left for her in Whitechapel following Will's knock back when she kissed him and he ended up leaving the Warren to avoid her. Will has struggled throughout the years they spent living under the same roof, he has a real disinterest towards women after his mother sold him to a travelling showman for £5 after he caught the loupe virus (hence him being verwulfen) and he spent 10 years locked in a cage as entertainment for the Blue Blood of the Echelon, before Blade rescued him. The only other female he has ever trusted is Esme, Blade's housekeeper. So when Lena arrives at the Warren and flirts with him, he doesn't know how to handle it, and she stirs dangerous emotions and needs within him that he doesn't know how to deal with, so for fear or hurting or infecting her with the loupe virus he tries to distance himself. Only he cant actually keep away, but can he control himself enough not to hurt her? and can he keep his hands off her so that he doesn't infect her?
In the year since Lena has returned to the Echelon, she has become somewhat of a spy for the humanist movement, and when Will finds a coded message on her person and realises that she's in trouble he tries to find out how deep she has gone. There are other things a foot, a humanist movement that is torn between two factions, a treaty between the blue bloods and the verwulfen, and a total arse of a blue blood lord that has his sights firmly set on Lena, a new found game of the blue bloods that puts any debutantes in danger, topped off with the steamy as hell chemistry between Lena and Will and you have yourself one hell of a book.
You also get to catch up some of the old favourites and I love how this untoward but very close family stick together through thick and thin.
In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…
Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…
Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.
With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts…