Title: The Vanishing of Lord Vale The Lost Lords, Book 2
Author: Chasity Bowlin
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency/Victorian
Story Setting: Bath, 1820
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: November 28, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC ASIN: B077NHJZYH
Publisher’s Summary: Elizabeth Masters has put her scandalous and painful past behind her. She’s taken a position as companion to the tragic Lady Vale and her primary duty is to dissuade the woman from believing that everyone from the butcher’s delivery boy to the ostler at an inn is her missing son. But a late-night visit to an alleged mystic in the city of Bath results in near tragedy as Elizabeth is nearly abducted by ruffians waiting for them outside. They are rescued by a handsome and mysterious stranger who calls himself Benedict, the very name of Lady Vale’s lost son.
Benedict has his own reasons for being in Bath—to locate his missing sister and see her safe once more. Waylaid by a pistol ball from the men who attacked Miss Masters, he finds himself dependent upon the assistance of Lady Vale to rescue his Mary. In exchange, he must consent to her investigation of his past to determine if he is, in fact, her missing son, an unlikely scenario in his mind.
As their investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that the danger they face, the attempted abduction of Elizabeth and Mary’s disappearance are all connected to the fateful night twenty-four years earlier when Lady Vale’s son was ripped from her arms, never to be seen again. Forced to work together, Benedict and Elizabeth cannot fight the attraction they feel for one another. Yet with every piece of evidence uncovered, the truth of Benedict’s identity threatens their burgeoning relationship… and the danger that brought them together looms larger at every turn.
My Thoughts: This read was most intriguing. We all know you can’t rearrange the person you are by simply changing your hair style and clothes. Elizabeth Masters is determined to do just that. Her scandalous past no longer is a part of her. She seems the prim and proper and does well in her new job, companion to Lady Vale. But…
Lady Vale is heart-broken, having searched for her abducted son for the last ten years. Her husband, Lord Vale, wouldn’t let her search for him, therefore she had to wait until after his death to try to find her dear boy. The trail has long been cold. She’s a woman who is weary of the search, but she doesn’t want to give up, even searching through unconventional means. Even when her brother-in-law saddles her with a companion to watch her actions (reporting back to him) for young men who would take advantage of her search.
Circumstances are quickly propelled forward when someone tries to abduct Elizabeth. Luckily, a young man, who had been looking for his sister, happened upon the abduction. He (his name is Benedict – coincidentally, the same name as Lady Vale’s son) aborts the abduction receiving a bullet. He’s taken back to Lady Vale’s home and cared for by Elizabeth.
Lady Vale is convinced the man is her long, lost son. Elizabeth sees him as an imposter. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with the mad old woman, and Elizabeth who stirs his emotions. He needs to find his sister, Mary, and get back to the gaming hell he owns.
Bowlin writes a fast-paced, action-packed story keeping my interest. The story tells of the burgeoning relationship between Elizabeth (who just wants to go back to the prim and proper lady) and Benedict who’s led a life of hardship and has no particular liking for the ton.
The story shifts into high gear, as Benedict cares more for Elizabeth than he wants, when Mary isn’t to be found, when men are sniffing around Elizabeth and those characters in play provide bits of information about the head pin who is responsible for trafficking of human flesh.
I’ve enjoyed reading this series. Bowlin’s stories are entertaining, with an edge of fear, danger and mystery I love in a Regency/Victorian read.