Series: Blud, Book 2.5
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Steampunk/Paranormal Romance
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Delilah S. Dawson Reading Order
Bad boy knife-thrower Marco Taresque is the hottest and most dangerous performer in the caravan. He keeps to himself until a pesky female journalist arrives, anxious to interview him about his checkered past--his last assistant disappeared under mysterious and bloody circumstances, earning him the nickname "The Deadly Daggerman."
Unsinkable journalist and adventurer Jacinda Harville doesn't take no for an answer, and she's determined to wear down Marco no matter how threatening--or incredibly desirable--he might appear. He agrees to an interview--but only if she'll let him strap her to a spinning table and throw knives at her body. How can she say no? And how can she resist him when he leans close for a kiss that strikes her more sharply than any blade? It's the first time she's let a man get the better of her, and she's determined it will be the last...
Just when she thinks she can't take any more of his games, Jacinda receives a note from Marco saying he's finally ready to tell her the truth about what happened to his missing assistant. She sets out for an address miles away, but what she finds there turns the tables on everything she thought she knew about the tender lover who wears a smile as sharp as his knives.
As secrets are unraveled and passions take hold, Jacinda realizes her hard heart has melted. But will it be too late to save Marco--and herself--from the daggerman's dangerous past?
If you want a taste of Delilah S. Dawson’s marvelous Blud series, The Damsel and the Daggerman is a good place to start. With intrepid reporter Jacinda Harville as your guide, you can experience Sangland’s most intriguing band of carnivalleros. Front and center are Jacinda and Marco, two mature, intelligent protagonists who intrigued me from the beginning. Jacinda’s a widow who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it, even if she has to go toe-to-toe with infamous Bludman Criminy Stain in order get her story. Marco, in turn, is a man with a mysterious past and a talent for handling blades. I loved unwrapping the mystery that was Marco alongside Jacinda, although I did feel that the revelations concerning Marco’s past – and significant exploration into his and Jacinda’s characters – were a bit rushed due to the length of the story. Still, Jacinda and Marco are excellent both on their own and as a pair, and it was delightful getting to see the beginnings of their romance.
The Damsel and the Daggerman takes place between the second and third books in Ms. Dawson’s Blud series, and it certainly fed my craving for Blud – ;) – as I waited for Wicked After Midnight to be released. Fans of the series need not fear missing some of their favorite characters, for Criminy’s carnivalleros all have entertaining cameos. That being said, ringmaster and Blud hero extraordinaire Criminy Stain does steal every scene he’s in, and to a lesser degree so does contortionist Demi Ward. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but since The Damsel and the Daggerman is a novella and Marco and Jacinda were unknown entities, I would have liked to see them be the stars of their own show. Still, as a bridge between Blud stories or simply as a sample of the world, The Damsel and the Daggerman is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and reading any tale set in Criminy’s world is time well spent.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.