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    Murderer—Blackmailer

    This story is set in London in 1812, when women were wallflowers that attended parties and balls waiting for suitors to as for their hand in marriage. It will have you smiling from the get go, as well as being a love story full of mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is my first Brianna Labuskes story, but it won't be my last, I enjoyed her writing style and well rounded story! Gemma Lancaster is looking for whoever murdered her cousin Nigel, who was more like her brother. As a young lady or rather a spinster of twenty-five, her aunt Rosalind and her have a scheme: to make sure as few people as possible paid attention to her while they attend as many parties as they can, Gemma assumes the role of a wallflower with the ton. By wearing dowdy gowns, spectacles, and carrying on boring conversation—that she cultivated to one or two word replies, to keep anyone from noticing her compared to the rest of the glittering butterflies that flitted through society, she was a mousey nobody. But with those piercing eyes, Lord Winchester seemed to see beyond the facade, but with her unruly fire red hair she was never going to be the type of woman to turn heads when she walked into a ballroom. Except Lord Winchester, he definitely spelled trouble, he's the type to do what he wanted, regardless of her opinion and being one of the ton’s most eligible gentlemen, using an engagement to her is the perfect ruse for them to spend more time together to collaborate and find the blackmailer-murderer together. After they do, Gemma will "cry off" and return to the country alone as she planned, because she refuses to ever be a burden to someone she loved again. Lucas Stone is a wealthy man who is searching for the blackmailer that is after his sister, or are they actually after him and using his sister's diary information as leverage? While working with Gemma under the ruse of them being engaged as a cover to search for clues and information during house parties/balls, he has to fight his instantaneous attraction to the little spitfire. She is not like other women who drown in expensive perfume to make themselves be noticed. He thinks Gemma is fire and light, smart with a sharp humor he admires, courageous to hunt a potential murderer, but shy in society, and a riddle on one hand, an open book in the other... Uniquely Gemma, something about her pulled at him. What happens between Lucas and Gemma? Will they fall in love or kill each other? You'll have to read ONE STEP BEHIND to find out, but it'll be worth it! It's a funny but witty, mysterious historical romance story set in the early 1800's. I received an ARC copy via IndieSage in exchange for a blog tour review. FAVORITE PASSAGES~ “Timing has never been our strong suit, has it?” The appearance of a panther holding deceptively still during a hunt.
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    A fantastic journey into mystery and romance!

    4.5 Stars! I, for one, love a little intrigue mixed in with my romance fix. When I read the summary for One Step Behind, I knew I would be in for a treat. I got so much more than I ever imagined. This debut from author Brianna Labuskes hits all the best elements of a romantic mystery. We have the dashing Earl of Winchester, Lucas Stone. He has a huge heart and a smile that would melt wax in two seconds flat. Of course we have his match, Miss Gemma Lancaster. She’s beauty and brains behind her dull facade. Together, they take on an enemy only they are looking for, a blackmailer and a murderer. I am one of those pesky readers who seems to figure out the who-done-it early on in a novel. Sometimes, I’m just too good at reading the small clues. In this case, I was stumped until almost the very end. The way the duo goes about solving the case with the help of Winchester’s man of affairs, Mr. Harrington, and Winchester’s sister, Beatrice, was a surprise to me. At first, I thought Labuskes was just setting Harrington and Beatrice up to fall for each other. In the end, they were actually vital to the investigation. Each member of the team brought their own experience and made the investigation work. If one had been left out, the case }\very well might not’ve been solved. As for the romantic aspects of the novel, Labuskes does not spare us one ounce of heat. From the moment Lucas and Gemma are pressed up together, hiding in a darkened library, the sexual tension is thick. Throw in a ruse of an engagement and the heat goes volcanic! The story flows fast, yet every aspect is well developed from the first touch to the last kiss. For a fantastic journey into mystery and romance set in 1812 London, One Step Behind should be the next ride in your reading adventures. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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