After the death of the two “aunts” who raised her, Veronica Speedwell is ready to say goodbye to England and head out on an expedition. However, before she can go, she is rescued from a burglar by a stranger who informs her that she’s in grave danger. He promises to tell her why, and explain to her the truth about her parentage. He leaves her in the care of a gruff, yet handsome taxidermist, called Stoker. Before he can return to collect her, he is murdered. Stoker realizes that Veronica is in danger, and so the two of them run off together. Some interesting and somewhat unlikely events ensue. After being shot, attacked with a whip and nearly drowned, Veronica and Stoker find a key that leads them to the truth about her parents and her past, and make her see that the danger is worse than she could have imagined.
This book was just good until the secret was revealed, and then it was great! I was totally unprepared for it and it knocked my socks off! While the plotline is very good, some of the characters and dialogue seem unreal. Ms. Raybourn likes to write about strong women who break the mold, but Veronica seems a little too “un-normal” for Victorian England. I found the names of some of the characters to be slightly comical. Revelstoke Templeton-Vane, anyone? But while these things were a little annoying, they did not take away from the story too much. This book also was not raunchy like the others I have read. I hope the series continues that way, because I am very curious to find out what happens to Veronica and Stoker!
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. A Curious Beginning is on sale now.