Set a thief…
Rory Cathcart’s appreciation of the exquisite makes him the perfect man to expose forgeries and root out fraud in London’s tempestuous art world. But when his latest investigation into forged paintings puts him squarely in Mignon du Blois’ shaky sights, he finds himself deep in trouble, and captured by something more powerful than mere beauty.
To catch a thief…
The moment Mignon stops a rakish thief from making off with one of her father’s brilliant forgeries, she knows she’s found the perfect man to help her steal back a priceless statue, and save her family from unspeakable scandal. She has no intention of falling for Rory’s Caledonian charms, nor his seductive Scottish persuasions. From the drawing rooms of the ton to the auction rooms of the art world, the pair embarks on a madcap adventure to save them both from ruin. But will the love they uncover be most priceless treasure of all?
Publisher and Release Date: ERB Publishing, March 2016
Time and setting: London, 1790
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1.5
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by Jill
Marie (Mignon) du Blois and her father, Charles have fled Paris and the upheavals of the French Revolution to settle in London. In order to support themselves, her father, a forger of fine art, fobs replicas off on to unsuspecting and clueless English buyers. Mignon, afraid he will be caught and jailed, continually tries to talk him into giving it up, but her pleas fall on deaf ears.
Rory Cathcart works for Christie’s auction house and is a specialist in spotting art forgeries. When he hears of Charles du Blois’ latest forgery, he sets out to expose him and in so doing hopes to further his own career. While Mignon and her father are out one evening, Rory breaks in to their house, but unbeknown to him, Mignon has stayed at home. When she catches Rory in the act of stealing one of her father’s forgeries, he introduces himself to Mignon as Rory Andrews.
When Charles is caught in a difficult situation of having one of his forged sculptures authenticated for insurance purposes by none other than Rory Cathcart, Mignon hires Rory Andrews, her gentleman thief, to steal the sculpture where it’s on public display in the gallery at Somerset House.
Set in 1790, Mad for Love is a prequel novella to Elizabeth Essex’s new Highland Brides series. This is certainly different to anything I’ve read previously by Ms Essex, and in fact, I wasn’t prepared for the fun, light tone of the story. She writes that it was a homage to one of her favourite caper movies, and a more apt description would be hard to find for this delightful novella.
The first full novel in this series, Mad about the Marquess is due out in April 2016. Rory has a number of friends who I’m guessing will feature in the upcoming novels.
Mad for Love is a very enjoyable start to this new series by Elizabeth Essex, and would suit readers who enjoy romantic comedies and lighter historical romance.