By Diana Quincy
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Series or Standalone: Clandestine Affairs #2
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
I finished The Viscount Made Me Do It with a massive grin on my face. With a kickass heroine, an engaging murder mystery and a well-developed, tender romance, Diana Quincy’s second book in the Clandestine Affairs series is a pure delight.
Hanna Zaydan has devoted her life to following in her Baba’s footsteps and becoming a bonesetter. But when Thomas Ellis, the Viscount of Griffin, walks into her office to have an old war injury treated, he threatens to upend hard-fought independence and bonesetting practice with each visit. Meanwhile, Griff has an ulterior motive for visiting the bonesetter. Ever since his parents were murdered when he was 15, society has thought him the murderer. However, Griff wasn’t actually home the night of the murder and has spent years trying to figure out who actually killed his parents. When he sees Hanna dislocate the wrist of a nobleman who accuses her of being a fraud, he notices a necklace that belongs to his mother hanging around her neck. Determined to get to the bottom of his parents’ mother, he visits Hanna under false pretenses but quickly becomes seduced by her skills, beauty and charm.
I loved that this historical romance had a murder mystery plot woven into it! I’m a sucker for a good mystery plot and I really enjoyed having that in the background of this romance novel. Watching Hanna and Griff work together to unravel the web of secrets around Griff’s parents’ murder and confront the culprit brought an added level to this book and kept me on the edge of my toes to see if my guess on the culprit was correct. While the bad guy ended up being a bit obvious in the end, I still loved the mystery in this. The person behind the murder also gave me real superhero villain vibes at times as he kept talking about doing things for the great good. Such a fun addition to a historical romance.
While I liked Her Night With the Duke, the first book in the Clandestine Affairs series, the romance fizzled out a bit for me in the end. I did not have that problem with this book at all! The romance in this one hit all the right notes for me. I truly loved that Quincy let the relationship develop slowly over the course of the book despite the initial attraction between Griff and Hanna. It felt a bit like a slow burn, but there were plenty of kissing scenes to tide the reader over until Griff and Hanna finally get together. While there were barriers that were a bit superficial to their being together, this novel did feel relatively low angst. I felt more of the drama ended up coming from the murder mystery plot in the end, which I appreciated. I also loved how much Griff appreciated Hanna for her talents and found her skills and brain a massive turn-on. At one point he says, “I never realized how seductive a competent woman could be,” and I swear I swooned!
One thing I’m quickly beginning to love about Quincy’s books is that she writes fabulously strong female characters. Hanna is no exception to this! Our introduction to Hanna might be my favorite introduction to a character I’ve ever read in a historical romance. It perfectly shows off Hanna’s skills, strength and independence in one single scene. I loved Hanna’s devotion to her trade of bonesetting, which is akin to modern-day osteopathy or chiropractors. She was clearly very skilled at the work and wasn’t going to let anyone stop her from helping people, even though society and her family both looked down upon her practicing bonesetting. In comparison to Hanna, Griff is a bit of a weaker character, but I still really liked him. He’s a bit of an outsider since everyone thinks he murdered his parents, which I think helps him be a good match for Hanna since she’s also a bit of an outsider. I felt he was slow on the uptake in regards to who the bad guy was and I wish he wasn’t so trusting of his guardian Dr. Norman Pratt, who was so rude to Hanna. However, Griff’s admiration for Hanna and the actions he takes to support and defend her speaks volumes for his character in the end.
Quincy is also an Own Voices author, and I love how she continues to write amazing romances with diverse Arab characters. Quincy is a Palestinian-American and I love how she weaves aspects of her culture into these books. And yes, Arabs did exist in England during the Regency period, as Quincy references in her author’s notes. And while this book has less in-your-face racism than Her Night With the Duke, it’s still there, especially in how people view Hanna as a fraud and charlatan.
Also, I’m so excited for book three in this series as it will be focusing on the Marquess of Brandon, Leela’s brother and Hanna’s cousin. We’ve only seen him a few times so far in this series, but I am fascinated by him. I loved how he came to Hanna’s defense in this book and the air of power he has. I will be anxiously awaiting The Marquess Makes His Move, which is slated for Spring 2022.
If this book isn’t already on your TBR, I highly recommend adding it! This book is such a delicious Regency romance with diverse and independent characters with a sprinkle of murder mystery woven in. I couldn’t stop smiling at the end of the book which is a testament to a great romance and a great book.
Thank you to Avon/Netgalley for the ARC. All thoughts, ideas and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I’m so happy to be able to giveaway physical copies of Her Night with the Duke and The Viscount Made Me Do It. Check out the form at the end of this post or go enter over on my Instagram @overflowingshelf. You can enter both here and on IG for extra entries.
- US ONLY. Must have a street address. Sorry, no PO Boxes.
- Must be 18+
- Giveaway ends Friday, August 6th at 11:59 PM ET.
- Winner will be announced via my Instagram stories (@overflowingshelf) and emailed directly. I will never send you a link.
If you have any questions, please let me know!