BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bea Reviews Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

Bea Reviews Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Source: owned by the reviewer
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler, is accustomed to adventure and risk. Benedict Stanbridge, a man of science and a spy for the Crown, has faced danger in the darker corners of foreign lands.

But they are about to face a threat that is shockingly close to home . . .

One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. But Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after she is trapped in a carriage with a blade-wielding man in a black silk mask who whispers the most vile taunts and threats into her ear. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her . . . for now.

But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom, who has left a trail of female victims in his wake, has survived the wounds she inflicts and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by her scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge—gossip about their hours alone in a ship’s stateroom seems to have crossed the Atlantic faster than any sailing vessel could. Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him—as tenuous as it may be.

For a man and woman so skilled at disappearing, so at home in the exotic reaches of the globe, escape is always an option. But each intends to end the Bridegroom’s reign of terror in London, and will join forces to do so. And as they prepare to confront an unbalanced criminal in the heart of the city they love, they must also face feelings that neither of them can run away from.

My Thoughts:

I'm so used to reading Amanda Quick's paranormal historical romantic suspense that, despite having read the blurb, I kept waiting for the paranormal aspects to pop up. They didn't, because this is a straight-up historical romantic suspense. I liked it, despite the lack of paranormal aspects.

Amity is in her twenties, single, and travels around the world, writing about her travels for a London newspaper. On one such journey, she helps a wounded man and they become close while traveling on a ship. Then they go their separate ways. Unfortunately for Amity, her comings and goings from her patient's quarters have led to nasty rumors about her in London society and then she's targeted by a killer known as the Bridegroom. She escapes but is still at risk from him. Then her wounded man, Benedict Stanbridge, arrives back in town and the pace really picks up.

The romance aspect of the story wasn't as strong as the mystery, which predominated. The Bridegroom storyline was dark, twisty, and occasionally confusing. There were a lot of story threads and some red herrings but there was so much going on that it was, well, overkill, at times. Also, I didn't realize that solar energy had such a rich history. The Bridegroom was creepy and nasty, but he wasn't the only villain of the story. I actually liked the political intrigue more than the murder story, which is unusual for me.

I liked seeing Benedict and Amity work together; they respected each other and brought different skills to their investigations. Also, Benedict was kind of geeky and only a little bit alpha. He was protective, smart, occasionally insecure, and treated everyone courteously. No arrogance, no bullying, no condescension, just a good guy, a nice guy. Amity was smart, as well as brave, resourceful, curious, and practical. I wish the romance had been developed more, it seemed an afterthought at times, but I did like the first time they had sex. Amity was a virgin and the scene was just so real. Poor Benedict, Amity was less than impressed with her first experience, comparing it to riding a camel. :D But, despite some hurt feelings on both sides, they behaved, mostly, like adults and worked things out. Also, condom usage for the win! So often historicals ignore condoms or any form of birth control, acting as if they were purely a 20th century invention.

There is a secondary romance, subtly done, between Amity's widowed sister Penny, and a Scotland Yard inspector. It was sweet and gentle, and a good complement to Amity and Benedict's rational, quiet romance. Penny, though quiet, was also quite outspoken and forthright. Logan was smart and dedicated, and not in the least bit bothered by accepting or asking for help. It was also a refreshing change to see a police officer and civilians actually be civil with each other and work together, though I'm pretty sure he shared more information than would actually be allowed. Still, it was nice to see such cooperation all around.

"Otherwise Engaged" was a smart, pleasant, engaging story and exactly what I expected from Quick. Her stories are comfort reads for me and this one was no exception.


  1. Good review, Bea! I read this when it first came out. It's probably time for a re-read. :-)


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