Hello, and welcome back! We're having a gorgeous fall week here, though this morning started off a bit gloomy. But now the sun's out, and that pretty blue sky is peeking through the clouds. I may try to get outside for a while this afternoon to enjoy it.
This time out, I have Kim Lenox's Night Falls Darkly (Signet Eclipse), the first in her Shadow Guard series. The immortal Archer, Lord Black, bent some rules when he saved Elena Whitney, but since then he's kept his distance. Now, upon his return to England to deal with Jack the Ripper, he discovers his man of business has installed her in Archer's house. And Archer still finds her irresistible. Elena doesn't remember her past since a 'carriage accident', but she tries not to dwell on it, instead spending her time nursing and studying to become a doctor in the charity ward of the London hospital nearest to Jack's stomping grounds. The return of her guardian throws her life into turmoil. She doesn't remember him at all, nor does she like the way he makes her feel, particularly when it's clear he has no intention of acting on his own feelings. Archer is determined to keep her safe, and to keep his hands to himself. The first part isn't quite as easy as he'd imagined, and the second is nearly impossible. His best option: to marry her off to someone suitable. That should keep her safe from the East End of London, as well as putting her out of his own reach. Archer is definitely a tortured hero, wanting and knowing he can never have what he wants. Elena isn't as easy to peg, or to like. She's clearly capable of making her own way in life, but when it comes to her guardian, he turns her inside out. He also steps on her toes when it comes to her plans for her future, but that doesn't stop her from wanting him. I think it was at that point that I stopped trying so hard to like Elena. If a man betrays you in the way that Archer does Elena, no matter how good his intentions, the last thing a woman wants is him in her bed. At least, not a believable one. The Jack the Ripper aspect was intriguing; that's a story that's almost legendary by now, and this twist on it was very good. I'm not sure I'd call this one a keeper, however it's interesting. I look forward to seeing what Ms. Lenox does in the next installment of the series, and am borrowing three of Cupid's five arrows for this one.
Until next time, happy reading!