It's been a while since I've read a good book. Sure, I read The Fellowship of the Ring in February, but can someone hire a linguist to keep all of the names straight? A much more modern, faster read can be found in Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep.
This enchanting story follows young Emily Payne as she traipses through pre-Victorian England--but her fantasies are halted when her father hires Nicholas Brentwood to be her guardian. Nicholas is a Bow Street Runner, the precursor to England's modern police force. Intelligent and attractive, with near-Sherlock deduction abilities, Nicholas turns the heads of nearly eligible lady in the novel. Except for Emily, of course--she has her sights set on the affluent Charles Henley.
But when Mr. Payne's business partner turns up murdered, Nicholas must put his sleuthing skills to the test. With kidnappings and betrayals, murders and lies, this may prove to be too much for even him to handle. And will Emily be kept safe?
I haven't enjoyed a book this much since I ran into The Crittendon Files trilogy a couple of years ago. The characters are stunning, the tensions are gut-wrenching, and nearly everyone gets what they deserve in the end. I was especially impressed by Nicholas's observance and deductive reasoning. Although it's a Christian book with no profanity, it's best enjoyed by adult audiences, mostly because of a single scene in the end of Chapter 21 (and the first page and a half of Chapter 22) that has some non-graphic adult content. The scene serves its purpose--to create tension and expose a character's true colors--wonderfully.
As with any book, it's not perfect. The ending is slightly abrupt, as if there were a deleted scene somewhere before it that would have made everything clearer. Some things, like Nicholas's villainous past, are implied on the back cover but never described in the book. But it's well-researched, well-written, and well-paced. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Brentwood's Ward.
What about you? Have you read Brentwood's Ward? If so, what was your favorite part? I'd love to hear it in the comments below! God bless you, dear reader, and have a wonderful day!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.