I found Kasey Michaels through her Daughtry family series and was excited to see a new historical series from her. This is the second in the Blackthorn series regarding 3 brothers, the bastard sons of the Marquess of Blackthorn. The first book, The Taming of a Rake, reveals that the Marquess and his Mistress were very much in love, but she refused to marry him, instead wishing to pursue life as an actress. Instead, the Marquess married her sister, who is developmentally disabled, in order to protect his love’s sister.
This book picks up a few weeks after the ending of the previous book with Puck attempting to “blackmail” the men of the ton seen performing dirty crown business with his brother, for introductions into society. As such, the men take him to a masquerade ball in which he spies Regina Hatchard, daughter of a cit and an earl’s daughter.
Regina and her cousin Miranda attend the ball for a lark, both trying to escape the problems of their families. Miranda’s father is a gambler and the family’s funds come from Regina’s father. Regina’s father sees her only as merchandise to sell for a title and her mother has turned to alcohol in order to bear her father.
During the ball, Miranda is kidnapped and Puck agrees to help Regina in her search. Similar to the previous book, Regina is a strong female character who is determined to remain involved and not sit at home waiting.
Also similar to the first book, Puck has to arrange a way to separate Regina from her father in order to continue their investigations, find Miranda, and punish those guilty.
The book flows smoothly and you will enjoy the relationship between Puck and Regina. Puck is light hearted and refreshing with a good mixture of seriousness and humor. While Regina was able to cast aside her doubts about herself and her family and blossom under Puck’s attention. I also enjoyed getting better introduced to Jack, whom we will hopefully find out more about in the next book. Finally, this book continues the mystery of what the Marquess needs to tell his sons, which I expect to see wrapped up in the final book.