Friday, 18 April 2014

Review: The Temptations of Anna Jacobs by Robyn DeHart

The Temptations of Anna Jacobs (Dangerous Liaisons, #2)
The Temptations of Anna Jacobs (Dangerous Liaisons #2) by Robyn DeHart
Publisher: Intermix/Penguin
Publication date: April 15th 2014
My rating: 4 stars
Love and justice…

When Drew Foster is released from prison, he doesn't much care about salvaging his soiled reputation. Though he's working undercover, everyone in Victorian London believes him guilty of the Jack the Ripper murders and that his brother paid for his "innocence."

Despite her genteel upbringing, Anna Jacobs is intent on finishing medical school and becoming a physician. Society's ridicule has never bothered her, but when her brother, the Yard's best detective, is scorned for letting Drew go, she confronts the one man who can set the record straight at a ball. She certainly doesn't count on the rogue being dashing and handsome, nor on him stealing a passionate kiss.

Anna's brazen contempt for his dangerous reputation captivates Drew, but he is harboring secrets that make him unfit to court any proper woman. As he finds himself an outsider among his colleagues at Scotland Yard, the feisty beauty offers up her medical knowledge to assist him on the case. But when the real killer returns to London to continue his reign of terror, can Anna find safety in Drew's arms?

My Thoughts:
I was drawn to The Temptations of Anna Jacobs when I saw that gorgeous cover and then read it was a romance/mystery set in Victorian England! Add in Jack the Ripper (yes, I’m deranged!) and I was immediately sold! 

Annabelle Jacobs is not the typical Victorian woman.  She is going to medical school and has made her education her priority, much to her mother’s dismay.  Her mother thinks she should focus on finding a suitable husband and feels that her chosen studies chases away any desirable prospects.  Still, her mother won’t oppose her choice especially when Anna was encouraged by her father to take this path. While Anna would love to have a husband and family eventually, it’s not her primary concern.  Of course now that she’s not looking Anna meets Drew, a scoundrel who spent time in jail after being wrongfully accused of the Ripper murders and her heart is a lost cause.

After discovering his origins, Drew had spent a lot of time wallowing in self-pity, drinking himself into oblivion and womanizing to forget the pain of betrayal he felt from his father and mother. His careless behavior made him the perfect scapegoat and The Ripper took full advantage by setting him up.  Thankfully, the frame up didn’t stick.  Seeing that Drew was in The Ripper’s haunts and close enough to be set up, Scotland Yard drafts him to help catch the killer. When he meets Anna, the spirited medical student, Drew is immediately taken with her pluck and determination.  When The Ripper strikes again Anna’s medical knowledge and counsel proves to be a valuable asset in solving the crimes.  The more Drew is around Anna the more he can’t resist his growing attraction, but he feels unworthy with his questionable past.

Anna was a character I immediately bonded with. She had sass and spunk and I admired her courage going against the norms of the time by pursuing a medical degree.  She may not have attracted the conventional male who would’ve been threatened by Anna’s aspirations, but Drew found her talents and focus enticing! I just love a man who is confident enough to love a strong woman!

Drew pulled himself out of a nasty situation with the help of his best friend and the support of his brother.  Some could’ve used the situation as an excuse to sink further into self pity, but Drew counted himself fortunate and didn’t piss away his second chance. His connection to Anna is powerful because they’re attracted to each other both mentally and physically.  They fight and succumb to their desires in the middle of trying to solve the grisly murders taking place.  Danger and desire combine for some very steamy scenes; definitely scandalous for the time, but oh-so-delicious!  It was nice that in spite of some road blocks to their romance there were never any ridiculous or frustrating actions.  Yay for maturity in romance!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been drawn in by any documentary or story based on Jack the Ripper.  The horrific nature of the crimes and the fact that he got away with them fascinates and disturbs me. I think any mystery buff feels like there must be a way to figure his identity out! In this story, the mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper is part of an ongoing story arc for the series, so while a part was solved, the identity of The Ripper is still not revealed.  The mystery began in the previous installment The Secrets of Mia Danvers, but you don’t have to read it to appreciate and enjoy this story.  With that said, I would like to go back and read the first one.  Ms. DeHart sucked me with her thrilling story and I can’t wait to read the next!  I NEED to know who this fictionalized Ripper is!

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  1. Rachel, this sounds absolutely wonderful! Just the mention of Jack the Ripper is enough to convince me to give this one a shot. Anything with Jack the Ripper is interesting (and twisted). I love the sound of the main character. I love reading these historical romances where the heroines aren't afraid to be scorned by society with their choices. And the romance! Ah you've got me really excited for this book.
    I hadn't heard of this before, but I'm definitely going to look it up.
    Great review, Rachel.

  2. That is such a seductive cover! Anna sounds like a wonderful character and, yes, I've always been intrigued with Jack the Ripper. SO crazy, so creepy and it's amazing to me that they really never solved the mystery of who he was. I'm thinking he must have been a twisted member of the upper class with enough money to make evidence disappear...

  3. I've always been sort of horrifyingly fascinated by Jack the Ripper Rachel! I can't help but be intrigued, as sick as it is maybe, by someone so twisted. Part of it I think is the mystery of him and the fact that he was never caught, so we don't have any answers about the who or why of him. This sounds like something I would like for sure, so thanks for putting it on my radar!

  4. I'm sold at the mention of Jack the Ripper! I find the story there so morbidly fascinating, and can't resist a Victorian England setting too. I like the sound of the romance here, and Anna seems like my sort of character. I'm glad you had fun reading this, Rachel. Lovely review! :)

  5. How interesting! I've always been fascinated that the Ripper murders were never solved. Can you imagine living in london at that time?! This sounds like such a great read! And yay for maturity in romance!


    ALSO we still don't find out who Jack the Ripper is in this installment?
    I am hoping this means that we'll get to be in the minds of Alex and Mia again.
    (okay so admittedly if the next book features Mia and Alex at the center I am probably going to skip this one :P)

    Lovely review as always, Rachel!!

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  7. I have never heard of this one but just the sole mentioning of Jack the Ripper is enough to make me read this one. I mean the mystery around his character is something that intrigued me since ever. I really like to see that from any perspective. I'm so happy you enjoyed this one and it goes straight to my to-read list. Great review, Rachel :)

  8. I'm glad we don't need to have read the first book in order to pick this up as it sounds fantastic! I haven't heard of it before, but it seems wonderfully promising and I'll have to add it to my TBR at once. Fantastic review, Rachel - thanks for adding this one to my radar! :)

  9. I hadn't heard of this series but it does sound really interesting. I'm very fascinated by the Jack the Ripper story. It's crazy that they don't know who did it, but it leads to a lot of great stories for writers I guess!

  10. Oh I love books like that mainly when we have Jack the Ripper, I think it's always very interesting. And well I didn't know this one so I want to thank you for the shout out. I'm really curious to discover it!

  11. I love that the combination of romance and serial murders drew you in, ha! :)

    This does sound good, I love this era as settings, and I really enjoyed Maureen Johnson's YA books involving Jack the Ripper, so I think this is for me, too!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  12. I don't usually find appealing historical novels, but your review got me intrigued. I'd have to check it out.


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