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Reviewed by Vera Pereskokova
Charlotte Raven spent much of her childhood disguised as a boy and cleaning chimneys for wealthy clients. When she was twelve, she had the sheer luck of getting stuck in the chimney of Lady Catherine Howe, who took pity on the young girl. From then on, Charlotte was raised as Catherine’s ward and privy to the same privileges as noble women her age.
Despite her upbringing, Charlotte cannot turn her back on the street children she grew up with and Luke, the boy – now man and crime lord – who watched over her all those years. She offered employment to many of her friends at Lady Howe’s estates; many of them happily accept their wages from Charlotte while also spying on her for Luke. He wants Charlotte for himself and she cannot make a single step without Luke knowing about it.
When Charlotte offers refuge to Lady Holliday, who is fleeing from her husband, she also makes the acquaintance of Lady Holliday’s brother, the handsome Lord Edward Durnham. Edward quickly learns of Charlotte’s past and enlists her help in navigating London’s seedy underworld as he investigates the mystery of England’s disappearing gold. Despite Edward’s tentative alliance with the people from Charlotte’s past, both of them tread further into danger as their investigation progresses. And living in between two worlds becomes increasingly difficult for Charlotte, who must choose sides once and for all.
Michelle Diener is a favorite here at Luxury Reading and in fact, a quote from our review of In a Treacherous Court was included on the cover of The Emperor’s Conspiracy (!). However, The Emperor’s Conspiracy left me wanting more; I devoured the first 50 or so pages but found it difficult to stay invested in the story from then on. Diener does an admirable job of combining historical fiction, mystery and subtle romance, but at times I wished that these parts of the equation were developed more or omitted altogether in favor of just a really good mystery or historical novel. All in all, it was good–but I was looking for great…
Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Gallery Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.a Rafflecopter giveaway