The first book in the Guild of Hybrids series:
Title: Dangerous Kisses (Guild of Hybrids #1)
Author: Alice Lake
Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian
Length: 235 pages
Release Date: February 1, 2016
Source: Review Request
Heat Rating: 3
Reviewed by: Vashti
Miss Lavinia Halls is a member of the Guild of Hybrids, a secret society dedicated to helping women in need. When faced with a terrified new client, Lavinia declares that her client’s fiancé must pay for his sins. The fact that she can’t take her eyes off the man’s kissable lips only spurs her resolve to bring her assignment to a quick conclusion.
Eric Yorke, Viscount Mathieson, wishes nothing more than to distance himself from his treacherous fiancée, but in his quest to do so, he finds himself trapped in the clutches of the unconventional Miss Halls. The delectable yet annoyingly persistent woman seems intent on ruining his life no matter how much he tries to thwart her attempts.
Her efforts to seek and destroy meet their match in his determination to foil her plans, until their struggles collide in a scandal of enormous proportions. Fated together, they must overcome ruin, danger and heartbreak. Will they be able to survive their past or is their future together doomed?
I had high hopes for the premise of this book and began reading with great expectation. I am a lover of historical romance with Victorian being one of my favorite periods to read about. Well into the fourth chapter however, I found the story moving a bit slow, with a lot of the same thoughts being reiterated over, and over. I found myself frustrated, a bit confused and really hoping that this book would pick up.
Miss Lavinia Halls,along with her Aunt Cynthia, and Sister Larissa, is a member of a secret society of women called "The Guild of Hybrids", who's mission is to help other women in need. By their motto they don't discriminate and help every women when faced with despair. "Payment is requested beforehand" of course. The Society is not a charity after all.
Lavinia was hired by Lady Clara Stratton to destroy her fiance, Eric Yorke, Viscount Mathieson's reputation. According to Lady Clara she caught Eric trying to compromise her friend, and in an attempt to silence her, he mistreated her. Lavinia takes the assignment and sets on a mission to ruin Eric.
The first problem I have is that for Lavinia to not only be a top member of the Guild and a teacher of new members, She didn't verify that the information was true about Eric, before she set out on her mission to destroy him.
Secondly, her idea's of ruination were a bit ridiculous to me. I honestly do not see how any of her ideas would ruin him to the point of a justifiable end of his engagement. He was a Viscount, wealthy and attractive after all.
I liked Eric. He seemed like a real caring gentleman, who unfortunately has the wool pulled over him by two scheming women.
I did enjoy Eric turning the cards on Lavinia at most of her attempts to humiliate him, and while there was an attraction between them, I felt no real chemistry between them! Eric an Lavinia seemed to have more conversations in their own minds than with each other.
And if Lavinia, stuck out, lifted or raised her chin one more time I was going to scream!! And then she squared her shoulders and raised that chin in defiance again. AAAARRRGGGHHH!!! 11x in one book.
Lavinia was stubborn and extremely selfish! We read REPEATEDLY, REPEATEDLY, REPEATEDLY, and again I say REPEATEDLY (yeah, repetition is annoying isn't it) through out the book how "The Guild is her utmost priority, and must be protected". Yet Lavinia runs away after the scandal erupts that she has created, and leaves her aunt and sister to deal with her mess. Even though it is within her power to put a stop to the scandal immediately. She does not and instead continues in her own selfish, reckless behavior.
and continues to deceive Eric, even after she finds out he was a victim. Not the actions of a strong empowered woman.
I did like Lavinia standing up to Lady Clara who is nothing more than a lying Thot!
The book took me longer to read than normal because of the repetition. By page 147 Lavinia is still having rants with herself about her failure, how she didn't deserve the honor of being a member of the Guild.
The suspense finally picks up at the end of the book, and I found myself engaged to see if the "villain", not to give away any spoilers, was truly working for Clara or if she was in on a scheme derived by Cynthia and Larissa to help Erica an Lavinia finally realize and admit their true feelings for one another. You will have to read the book if you want to find the answer.
One thing I really wanted to know, was what happened to that thot, Clara(I left off the Lady on purpose)after her true nature was revealed. I would have loved to see her get her just deserts!! We instead are left to wonder what her outcome was.
Would I read book 2? Yes, because I think Miss Lake does have talent, and Larissa was more real to me than Lavinia. I would hope Larissa's story moves along with less repetition.