Normally, I do the “Read More” thing after the book description, but since the description contains a MAJOR spoiler for The Queer Principles of Kit Webb, I am warning readers not to proceed if they have any intention of starting the series. Yes, this book came out six months ago, but if I can be six months behind with review writing, then certainly there can be readers who are six months behind with their TBR.

Description

Cat Sebastian returns to Georgian London with a stunning tale of a reluctant criminal and the thief who cannot help but love her.


Marian Hayes, the Duchess of Clare, just shot her husband. Of course, the evil, murderous man deserved what was coming to him, but now she must flee to the countryside. Unfortunately, the only person she can ask for help is the charismatic criminal who is blackmailing her—and who she may have left tied up a few hours before…

A highwayman, con artist, and all-around cheerful villain, Rob Brooks is no stranger to the wrong side of the law or the right side of anybody’s bed. He never meant to fall for the woman whose secrets he promised to keep for the low price of five hundred pounds, but how could he resist someone who led him on a merry chase all over London, left him tied up in a seedy inn, and then arrived covered in her husband’s blood and in desperate need of his help?

As they flee across the country—stopping to pick pockets, drink to excess, and rescue invalid cats—they discover more true joy and peace than either has felt in ages. But when the truth of Rob’s past catches up to him, they must decide if they are willing to reshape their lives in order to forge a future together.

My Review

This book picks up right after the events of Kit Webb, and features the enigmatic Marian, who was Percy—the protagonist of the first book’s best friend… and stepmother. Yes, that’s right: Marian married the much-older Duke of Clare and became her childhood best friend’s stepmother. But clearly, the union was not a happy one because it ends with her shooting her ducal husband.

And now it’s time for Marian to tell her story. This is actually the perfect opportunity for one of those cliched “record scratch: you’re probably wondering how I ended up here” situations. Because as the description states, Marian goes from Duchess to highwayman’s companion in a madcap adventure.

Okay, technically, Marian has kidnapped Rob, but he goes along willingly because he needs to make sure that nothing bad is going to happen to her. This book could easily be subtitled “Two Fools in Love” because despite the fact that their relationship began when he attempted to blackmail her, they just can’t manage to feel any animosity towards each other.

This book was a delight from start to finish. It is equal parts tenderhearted and hilarious, with minimal angst—but a double dose of Big Feelings. Oh, and I forgot to mention the best part: there are CATS!

I would absolutely recommend The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes. As I have mentioned several times already, readers need to begin with the first book in the series. I do hope you’ve heeded my advice, but if not, you were warned. As much as I loved Kit Webb, I do think that this book outshines its predecessor. Cat Sebastian has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, and this book—overflowing with heart– is one of the reasons why.

I received a digital ARC of this book from Avon/NetGalley.

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