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The Vicar and the Thief: A Matchmaker Regency Romance (Fernley Family A Regency-era Romance Book 4)

by Angela Johnson

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I’ve loved reading the Fernley Family’s love stories. Each romance is as unique as the seven Fernley sons. I was completely intrigued by the title of this one. A vicar and a thief? Angela Johnson weaves a compelling, fast-paced, suspenseful romance between Gilbert Fernley, the local vicar, and Eliza Davenport, a tradesman’s daughter caught in a web of deceit.

After his twin brother married, Gilbert, who was previously content with his life, finds himself jealous of his twin’s happiness. When he suffers an anxiety attack after a sermon, he decides to follow his family’s advice and go to London while his sisters-in-law play matchmaker for him. There he finds the beautiful Eliza whom he met previously and felt a connection to. But, Eliza appears to be in trouble. While she seems to reject him, he senses there’s more to the story.

Eliza comes from “new money.” While her family is wealthy enough to mix with the ton, she’s not readily accepted. With her family hoping for a brilliant match to a titled gentleman, Eliza succumbs to the wicked schemes of a duchess and her stepson. Soon she’s caught up in a dangerous game, one which threatens her life if caught. The only one who seems aware of her trouble is Gilbert, but is it right to accept his suit when she’s hiding an awful secret that could destroy his livelihood.

There were quite a few twists in this story and moments that had me on the edge of my seat. Eliza’s in an awful mess. Not only are the villains blackmailing her and threatening her, but she endures the unwanted advances from the duchess’ stepson. I loved the way Gilbert was willing to sacrifice everything to help Eliza. It’s also touching how the Fernley family rallies around those they love. The suspense and romance build to an exciting conclusion. I was just hoping for a little more resolution.

Definitely recommend to Regency suspense and romance fans. While it can be read as a standalone, it’s more enjoyable if you’ve read the previous books in the series. I received an advanced complimentary copy from BookSirens. All opinions are my own and voluntarily provided. ( )
  Melissas-Bookshelf | Oct 8, 2023 |
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