His Sinful Touch by Candace Camp
The Victorian romance His Sinful Touch begins on a really intriguing note… a young woman, dressed in man’s clothes, stumbles into the office of a small London detective agency and tells them she wants to hire them to find someone. Herself. She has amnesia, and the only clue to her identity is a gold locket around her neck with the name Sabrina and a date twenty years earlier engraved on it.
The hero of the book is Alexander, one of the sons of the Duke of Moreland, helping out his twin brother Con who owns the agency. Taking on Sabrina’s case, he soon finds himself falling for her, though is wary because evidence indicates she may already be married.
Of course, the plot thickens further once Sabrina’s true identity is discovered, partly through the use of some psychic abilities Alex has never fully explored. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot twists and the steadily building romantic relationship between the two leads but there were a couple of issues that bothered me about the book.
Firstly, the use of the word ‘gotten’ in dialogue between the leads. I was born in the UK and lived there for the first 25 years of my life before moving to Australia, and I have never, ever heard an English person say ‘gotten’. It’s strictly an Americanism, and a member of the upper class in the Victorian era would have considered it utterly uncouth.
Secondly, there was a plot hole I thought was wide enough to drive a coach-and-four through. The American author probably doesn’t know about this, but the UK has, since 1837, required all records of births, marriages and deaths to be sent to the Registrar General’s office, housed at Somerset House in London from 1837 until 1970. Records are indexed by date, so with a date of birth and a first name as uncommon as Sabrina (it didn’t become popularised until the 1950s), they should have been able to discover her identity in short order. A detective agency not even knowing about these records is, frankly, inconceivable.
However, only a picky Brit like me would even NOTICE these issues. If they’ll annoy you, avoid; otherwise, this is a highly enjoyable romp. Four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.