SWEET REVENGE – Zoë Archer
A Nemesis Unlimited Novel , Book 1
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Jack Dalton's escape from Dunmoor Prison in Yorkshire is a dangerous feat. He makes the effort because he has learned that the man who killed his sister, the reason Jack is in prison, is staying at a local inn. After five years in prison, he doesn't care if he dies if he can kill Lord Rockley first.
Inside the room where Jack expects to find Rockley stands a beautiful woman with a revolver pointed at him. Rockley isn't in Yorkshire. It's been a ruse to make him attempt the escape. The woman and her fellow Nemesis agents convince him to go with them to London and help make Rockley pay for ruining another woman, their client Miss Jones. Reluctantly Jack agrees. He will get his vengeance no matter what these Nemesis people think or want.
To say Jack is a gritty hero is an understatement. His mother was a whore; he doesn't know who is father was, and he grew up by surviving the worst slums of London. He made a living boxing and became known as ‘Diamond Jack' before Lord Rockley hired him as a bodyguard. His speech is crude and his education limited. Years of pounding rocks in prison has made his tall frame bulky with muscle and his appearance intimidating. Nemesis chose him because as Rockley's former guard, he might know something about the lord's illegal activities.
Eva Warrick looks and sounds like a lady. She is the daughter of missionaries. Her calling, though, is justice for those who can't get it anywhere else. Nemesis, an agency working outside the confines of legal agencies, has trained her to be efficient, and deadly when needed. Eva is fearless except when it comes to relationships. She was against involving Jack in this case. He seems too dangerous. From their first meeting, a connection and attraction draws them together. It is impossible; she won't leave Nemesis, and as an escaped prisoner, Jack's future is uncertain.
This is certainly a different take on a romance, but Victorian era romances tend to be focused less on the noble class of lord and lady. Still, readers will need to adjust to Jack, yet author Zoë Archer slowly leads the reader to do just that—accept Jack as not only a worthy man, but also a hero. Dramatic situations plus interesting and unusual characters make SWEET REVENGE a compelling read.