Not every lady plays by the rules…
Lady Lavinia Vaile knows what happens to a woman who puts her faith in society. For her, it was a disastrous marriage to a depraved man—one she threatened to shoot when she left him. Now Lavinia lives outside of society's strict conventions, hosting private gambling parties. It's only when her husband is shot dead that Lavinia finds herself in terrible danger...
A former judge in India's high court, Maximilian Harrison will do anything he can to help Lavinia. In the darkest of times, he held on to thoughts of her and the love they once shared. Now he risks his own position in society―along with his ambitions―in order to clear her name. Yet as desire reignites between them, Lavinia remains caught up in secrets and shame. Her only salvation is to do the unthinkable...and trust in both Maximilian and love.
The three Furies, Lady Vice, Duchess Decadence and Lady Scandal, or Lavinia, Thea and Sophia, are independent women who have taken charge of their lives. They refuse to be downtrodden by men, and for Lavinia - who has fled a twisted marriage - Sophia and Thea company provide a kind of safety. I really liked the relationship between these three women, and their attitude made a refreshing change in fiction of this genre. I'm assuming and hoping that the other two Furies get their stories told too!
When Lavinia's husband is murdered, fingers immediately start pointing in her direction. Enter Max Harrison, childhood sweetheart of Lavinia who went away to make a name for himself. After a harrowing imprisonment, his only focus now is protecting the woman who got him through those dark times and clearing her name. I LOVED Max. He was devoted to Lavinia and prepared to do anything to keep her safe. He is the perfect gentleman with a tortured soul, and needs Lavinia to help him heal. Lavinia and Max each have their own scars to bear. Max hides his hurt behind a gentlemanly front of duty, while Lavinia finds it hard to trust men - even Max. It's clear that she's had a troubled past, but the way she kept shutting herself off and putting herself down did begin to grate on me.
Although the novel starts with a murder it isn't much of a whodunit - the culprit is pretty obvious from the start. Discovering the motive and provoking a confession however is the tricky part, particularly as the murderer seems determined to frame Lavinia. The novel is very well written, gripping in parts, and there is real chemistry between the two main characters. I look forward to reading more from this author! 4/5 stars.
*Thanks to Entangled Publishing for granting me a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review*