by Amanda Quick
Genres: Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense
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Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler, is accustomed to adventure and risk. Benedict Stanbridge, a man of science and a spy for the Crown, has faced danger in the darker corners of foreign lands. But they are about to face a threat that is shockingly close to home . . .One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. But Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after she is trapped in a carriage with a blade-wielding man in a black silk mask who whispers the most vile taunts and threats into her ear. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her . . . for now. But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom, who has left a trail of female victims in his wake, has survived the wounds she inflicts and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by her scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge—gossip about their hours alone in a ship’s stateroom seems to have crossed the Atlantic faster than any sailing vessel could. Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him—as tenuous as it may be. For a man and woman so skilled at disappearing, so at home in the exotic reaches of the globe, escape is always an option. But each intends to end the Bridegroom’s reign of terror in London, and will join forces to do so. And as they prepare to confront an unbalanced criminal in the heart of the city they love, they must also face feelings that neither of them can run away from. . .
Amanda Quick is one of my favorite authors, and I was excited to slip into one of her historical romance. Otherwise Engaged is a romantic suspense that delivered quite the mystery, with spies for the crown, and murder. It also offered a delicious romance with a feisty, travel-wise heroine and a geeky hero who made me swoon.
Miss Amity Doncaster is on the shelf, independent and an excellent traveler who carries a fan that is sharp as a blade. I adored Amity from the start, and her chance meeting with Benedict Stanbridge, an engineer and reluctant spy for the crown set of a chain of events that forced them to fake an engagement. I was delighted this story entailed one of my favorite tropes.
Amanda Quick, a pseudonym of Jayne Ann Krentz, is quite talented at spinning a tale whether it is a straight up historical romance or one twisted with paranormal woo-woo. In Otherwise Engaged, she brings us a romantic suspense with an engaging murder mystery and a quest to locate engineering plans before Russia. It was brilliant from the wicked banter to the chase. Quick knows how to pace a story, weaving in secondary storylines, and providing twists and turns that keep the reader engaged.
Benedict is awkward, noble, and downright sexy. I loved his interaction with Amity from his aloofness to how hard he tried to get things right. He was protective, yet appreciated and respected Amity’s considerable skill set. There is a second couple, and while not as fleshed out, their story made me smile. The villains were twisted and Quick brought them to life, creating a sense of danger and allowing us to fully loathe them.
I consumed Otherwise Engaged in a single evening losing track of the world around me. If you are looking for a thrilling mystery set in Regency London with a couple to cheer for this book, just might be for you. This novel isa standalone and in my opinion was spectacularly done. Jayne Ann Krentz also known as Amanda Quick, and Jayne Castle is an auto-buy for me.