AN UNSUITABLE HEIR
In her final Sins of the Cities novel, Charles once again makes consent, recognition and acceptance gloriously romantic and she crafts a tense and suspenseful story resolving the series-long mystery. When conflicting loyalties and differing definitions of security and safety lead to a betrayal that imperils Pen and Mark’s budding relationship, heartbreak seems inevitable. However, Charles’ solution is deeply satisfying. In this conclusion, Charles deftly ties together series events and themes and delivers an optimistic and sweet ending worthy of its captivating and resilient characters.
As part of the acrobatic duo, The Flying Starlings, Pen has found refuge on stage where unconventional and gender-bending dress doesn’t raise eyebrows. In Unnatural Vice, inquiry agent Mark Braglewicz’s search for the missing Taillefer heir leads him to the Starlings. However, Mark's interest in Pen quickly becomes personal. Mark's interest and acceptance intrigue the wary Pen, but his startling and unwanted news that Pen might be heir to an earldom deeply disrupts Pen's life. To protect Pen and Mark's friends from those who have been trying to cover up the Taillefer family scandal, Mark unveils Pen as the missing heir, but he soon regrets his pragmatic gambit, as it might prove to be devastating for Pen in ways that he didn't anticipate. (LOVESWEPT, dl $4.99)