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Dangerous Kisses

In 1870 London, The Guild of Hybrids is a women’s society that was formed to help women in need. Whether they may require legal aid, need medical assistance, or perhaps a woman has been the victim of a man. Whatever the need, the Guild of Hybrids is there to help.

It seemed like a good cause.  Help Lady Stratton exact revenge on her fiancé.  But the task takes some unexpected turns for Miss Lavinia Halls. The goal of turning Viscount Mathieson, Eric Yorke, into a public spectacle should be easy for someone as skilled in rhetoric as Lavinia. In the past, Lavinia’s clever use of words and logic has been her particular skill that gets the job done. But in Dangerous Kisses, there seems to be a backfire effect that leaves Lavinia speechless. The irony and humor was completely lost to Lavinia, but not to me.

There is a complication with this case. That is, Lavinia cannot seem to get Eric out of her mind (and the feeling seems to be mutual). Which makes her continued attempts to embarrass him more difficult. The fact that Lavinia’s attempts keep backfiring and she must keep trying to complete her task has the side affect of putting her in a situation with Eric more times than either will admit to enjoying. As the reader, I kept looking forward to the next time they would meet and cross metaphorical swords and when something else would ultimately go wrong.

The exchanges between Lavinia and Eric were quite entertaining. While I had a hard time believing that someone as intelligent as Lavinia could get herself into such a predicament, I finally told myself that when the heart is involved, intelligence sometimes takes a back seat.

Lavinia’s character was fairly well developed, complete with the mistakes of her past which motivate her in the present. Eric – not so much. We do get to meet his blowhard father, but I would have liked to know more about this engaging man who seemed a little thick when it came to women.

I would also like to know more about the Guild of Hybrids. I understand the basic premise, but, based on Dangerous Kisses, I want to know more about their structure, their leadership and their principles. Since this is a series, perhaps more detail will be forthcoming in future novels.

A couple odd changes in point of view threw me off. 95% of the book revolves around Lavinia and Eric and is told through their points of view. When it switched to the treacherous fiancée, it was brief and slightly out of place. Since I always appreciate a ‘good’ bad guy/gal, I would have liked to see more of the fiancée’s point of view. With a bigger role, her thoughts and opinions would be most pertinent.

Dangerous Kisses has several secondary characters that had important roles. Lavinia’s sister Larissa is a delight and Aunt Cynthia is the cool head. Maybe these two will get their own stories in future books. I think it would be really fun to match the in-charge Cynthia with Eric’s always-yelling-about-everything father. At any rate, there is an entire Guild of ladies, each with their own talents, to provide characters for coming stories.

The first book in the Guild of Hybrids series sets up a series based on strong women trying to help other women in a time when men had all the rights and privileges. I found Dangerous Kisses to be ever so slightly rough around the edges, but with a solid story and an unconventional, lovely romance.

Ms. Lake provided a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.

Alice Lake’s Website

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Dangerous Kisses