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Gaelen Foley is an American who lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and dog and is a New York Times bestseller. She writes in the Regency England period although not all of her books are set in England. Her first book, The Pirate Prince (part of the Ascension Trilogy), was released in 1998.
All her life, Jacinda Knight has been walking on egg shells, not wanting to follow in her mother's footsteps. Her mother was notorious was having many affairs and earned herself the name 'Hawkscliffe Harlot'. Unlike her siblings who are able to marry who ever they want, Jacinda is about to be part of an arranged marriage that she is desperate to get out of, mainly because she knows she will end up being exactly like her mother. Determined to live her own life, she runs away and defies her brother but really, she isn't as tough as she thinks. Jacinda doesn't make it very far before she gets her purse snatched and finds herself in a den of thieves, lead by her saviour, Billy Blade 'King of Thieves'.
Billy tries to keep up the tough guy act in front of Jacinda but he can feel the chemistry between them. Luring her real identity out of her, he is determined to be the good guy, knowing who her brothers are but before he takes her home, he manages to steal a kiss. Once home, Jacinda is beside herself, yearning for some more excitement and definitely more of Billy Blade but when William Rackford turns up, her feelings are confused. She cant help but think she and Rackford have met before, but where from?
This was the first of Foley's books that I read and it was the one that got me into liking this genre. Everything about the story screams danger and excitement but the romance makes it a bit softer than you originally think it is.
Much like Lord of Fire, Foley takes the story into places darker than the normal setting of the ballroom in order to get the drama right but each time, she manages to come up with something more interesting. Gangs of thieves are much more my kind of thing rather than the weird orgy parties that are in Lord of Fire.
Billy Blade aka William Rackford was one of the most interesting characters that I had the pleasure of reading about for a long time. When we first meet him, he is a thief and the leader of a notorious gang but you could instantly tell from the way that he speaks and acts around Jacinda that there is something more to him. I loved the idea that he had a hidden past, one better than where he ended up but he didn't want to acknowledge or accept it. His personality was really interesting because he seemed to find it really easy to be the bad guy in front of his gang but it was like he let his guard down quite quickly with Jacinda. It was lovely to see that he was so concerned (and scared for himself) when he found out who she really was because of her family name. He knew exactly what her brothers would do if they found him in a compromising situation with her. The thing that really sets Billy apart from other historical romance heros is that he isn't anything like them at all. He doesn't know his way around a dance floor, he doesn't exactly have manners and he has tattoos and he isn't afraid to be himself at all.
I wasn't too sure what to make of Jacinda to begin with. I could totally understand that she didn't want any part of this arranged marriage but to run away, all on her own, was so stupid. It was obvious that she was a spoiled member of the ton and she really didn't know anything outside of her own world so her getting into trouble was bound to happen. Even when she gets taken into Billy's lair, she is still adamant that she is a strong, tough and independent girl but Billy could see right through her. However, I did like that once she had a little taste of danger and excitement, she wanted more, even though it could have come back on her really bad which is exactly what she didn't want. Jacinda tried to prove that she was no innocent little miss but Billy wasn't having any of it and put her in her place quickly.
As in most of the Knight books, the other siblings come into the story at some point but I think they had more to do with the story in this one compared to the others. Jacinda is the only girl in the family so each brother was very protective of her which was lovely to see, even if they didn't really have her best interests at heart sometimes.
Knight Miscellany books
1. The Duke
2. Lord of Fire
3. Lord of Ice
4. Lady of Desire
5. Devil Takes a Bride
6. One Night of Sin
7. His Wicked Kiss
Impetuous beauty Lady Jacinda Knight is the daughter of a notorious woman. Her mother - Georgiana, the Duchess of Hawkscliffe - had scandalised society with her affairs and exploits, earning her the moniker of the Hawkscliffe Harlot. All her life Jacinda has been aware that the eyes of the ton are upon her - waiting for her to reveal her true colours and follow in her disgraced mother's footsteps. Now - faced with the prospect of an arranged and loveless marriage - Jacinda may well be about to prove her critics right. Running from her fate, Jacinda finds herself alone on a dangerous street face-to-face with Billy Blade, the notorious leader of a band of thieves. Jacinda finds herself dangerously attracted to the handsome, mysterious rogue and only just escapes the experience with her reputation intact. But Billy is no ordinary criminal. Years before he had turned his back on the privilege and power of his tyrannical father, the Earl of Rackford. He regarded giving up his wealth and position a small price to pay for the freedom he currently enjoys. But Jacinda makes him contemplate the unthinkable - returning to the civilized world to reclaim his title.