A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak
Released: October 7, 2014
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Reviewed by Sarah
On the Flap
Bestselling author Brenda Novak unearths love in the darkest of places.
When Maximillian Wilder hides his noble identity and joins the notorious body snatchers known as the London Supply Company, the last thing on his mind is love. He’s worried about Madeline, his vanished half sister, who was last seen in the company of Jack Hurtsill, the gang’s conscienceless leader. Raiding graveyards, stealing corpses, and selling them to medical colleges as dissection material is dirty work, but Max knows he must gain Jack’s trust. He’s determined to find out what happened to Madeline—and to bring Jack to justice if she was murdered for the coin her body could earn.
Beautiful, spirited Abigail Hale, daughter of the surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine, detests the challenging, hard-bargaining Max almost as much as Jack. But she must procure the necessary specimens if she is to save the college and her father’s career. She believes she is going to be successful—until Jack double-crosses her. Then she’s swept into a plot of danger and intrigue, one where Max must intervene to protect her, no matter the risk to his plan…or his heart.
Abby is the daughter of an anatomist and helps run the college where he teaches. In an effort to keep the medical school open she barters with grave robbers to get specimens for the courses. For the time period, she is very modern and a bit of a feminist. At twenty-one, she is approaching old maid status and doesn’t care. With no prospects of a husband, her only desire is to become a surgeon like her father.
Despite his meager surrounding, it is obvious there is something different about Max. Even with dirt on him from digging up graves, he still has a beauty and refinement not found in the other men of his gang. He displays his intelligence in negotiating the sale of the bodies. As time passes it becomes apparent, the ressurrectionist is a front. He is really trying to find his half-sister who went missing with Big Jack, the gang’s leader. Will he find her in time or is she already dead?
Historical romances are not on my menu all the time but I do enjoy them every once in a while. I find myself surprised by how interesting this is. It took a few chapters for me to adjust to the time period. I think there is just a different frame of mind when reading period pieces. I want to get all huffy when Abby isn’t instantly admitted to medical school despite her vast knowledge and clear passion. So once I’ve set that mood aside, I can really dig into the story.
This story is very much focused on suspense with a side of romantic tension. The connection between Max and Abby continuously evolved. First there was hate and anger, followed by lust, and then a strange friendship with the possibility of more. I completely enjoyed how Max is undeniably an alpha male much by his stature and background; but it is Abby that I love. She is intelligent and driven but can be haughty and yet naïve. The mystery of the missing sister is intriguing but unraveling the details of her disappearance kept me captivated. This Victorian English read in completely gratifying with a tale of unrequited love and enthralling whodunit plot.
Rating: 4 Stars
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads | Author
I have a large appetite for books with pensive alpha males. I tend to lean towards erotica and contemporary romance. I am completely addicted to my Kindle and feel naked when it’s not with me. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email them. I’m a single-ish woman with two crazy dogs. I also love football and basketball. Living in Oklahoma City, my teams are the Thunder and Sooners.