I usually have no problem reading historical romance series out of order. I can generally figure out what is going on pretty easily. This book I read without reading the previous two, and I was a bit more confused than usual on some plot points. But that didn't stop me from really enjoying this book.
It was the characters that drove this book. Andreas is cold, intense, and scarred inside and out. We get to spend a lot of time in his head. In fact the first 1/3 of the book is completely from his point of view. We find out he trusts and cares for only two people in his life. Everyone else he uses fear to keep them at a distance. He and his partner, Roman (the hero of the previous book), have created an empire for themselves in London. At the beginning of the book he is approached for help by our heroine, Phoebe.
Phoebe has come to Andreas for financial help. Her father made some unfortunate mistakes, and now their carriage business is heavily in debt. She confounds Andreas with her forwardness, optimism, and teasing. She pushes herself into his life and refuses to leave Andreas alone no matter how cold he is towards her. I loved their interactions; found myself laughing many times to Phoebe's teasing and Andreas' reactions.
So why not 5 stars? Because of their personalities, consuming attraction for each other, and fun interactions, I was really looking forward to their love scenes. I wanted to see Andreas' intensiveness and Phoebe's teasing in bed. There was one sex scene and it was lacking. It was very short and vague. I am not someone that always needs long, detailed sex scenes, but I think with these characters, it would have really added to the book.
ARC provided by NetGalley.