Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Review: The Lady Has a Past by Amanda Quick

The Lady Has a Past by Amanda Quick
Series: Burning Cove, Book 5
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense with Paranormal Elements 
The Lady Has a Past cover
ISBN: 9781984806888
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Investigative apprentice Lyra Brazier, the newest resident of Burning Cove, is unsettled when her boss suddenly disappears. Lyra knows something has happened to Raina Kirk, and tracks down her last known appearance at an exclusive hotel and health spa. The health spa is known for its luxurious offerings and prestigious clientele, and the wealthy, socialite background Lyra desperately wanted to leave behind is perfect for this undercover job. What Lyra lacks in investigative experience she makes up for in gut instinct, and her gut isn’t happy that she’s saddled with a partner by Luther Pell, Raina’s dangerous lover, who wants to bring in someone with more experience to help.

Instead of the suave, pistol-packing private eye she expected, though, Simon Cage is a mild-mannered antiquarian book dealer with a quiet, academic air, and a cool, remote gaze. Lyra suspects that Simon is much more than what he seems, and her instincts are confirmed when they arrive at the spa and pose as a couple: Simon has a unique gift that allows him to detect secrets, a skill that is crucial in finding Raina.

The unlikely duo falls down a rabbit hole of twisted rumors and missing socialites, discovering that the health spa is a façade for something far darker than they imagined. With a murderer in their midst, Raina isn't the only one in grave danger—Lyra is next.

1930s glamour meets deadly secrets in The Lady Has a Past. The world and characters Amanda Quick has created in the Burning Cove series never fails to entertain and this time is no exception. I had a difficult time putting this book down because I liked all four leads so much and I was absorbed in the mystery.

Lyra Brazier has been an apprentice investigator for four whole days when her boss, Raina Kirk, leaves town. Lyra and Raina’s lover, Luther Pell, know Raina must be in danger. Lyra is determined to investigate and Luther knows he’s too close to the case to be objective so he sends Simon Cage with Lyra to the luxury hotel and spa Raina was headed to. Simon is an antiquarian book dealer who is more than what he seems. His closed-off personality clashes with Lyra’s vibrant openness which means, of course, they’re meant to be together. I loved Lyra’s optimism; many mistake it for naïveté but she’s sharp, knows what she wants, and can get people to talk. Simon opens up with her – it helps that she doesn’t blink at his supernatural talents. They make a solid pair of investigators and I enjoyed watching them delve into the mystery of who kidnapped Raina and why. What’s more, I enjoyed their romance. Simon is only looking for a fling when he comes to Burning Cove and Lyra has no intention of getting married. Both find more than they bargained for in each other and it was easy to fall into their romance.

Raina Kirk and Luther Pell have been background characters for most of the Burning Cove series and I have been waiting to learn more about them. The Lady Has a Past delves into the background of the East Coast investigator with secrets and the shadowy businessman with ties to the government and the criminal underworld. I love Riana and Luther together and even if I hadn’t adored Lyra and Simon (which I did) I would be invested in this book because of them. Quick takes our protagonists for a ride in this story and there are multiple layers to the mystery that I won’t spoil. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed every part of The Lady Has a Past and I look forward to revisiting Lyra, Simon, Luther, and Raina again soon.

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.