Series: Vanza #1
Published by Bantam on first published January 1, 1998
Genres: Historical romantic suspense
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository
Also by this author: Crystal Gardens, The Mystery Woman, Otherwise Engaged, Garden of Lies, 'Til Death Do Us Part, The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Leo Drake, the "Mad Monk of Monkcrest," is notoriously eccentric and unquestionably reclusive. But he is also a noted antiquities expert, which is why Beatrice Poole has demanded his reluctant assistance.
The freethinking authoress of "horrid novels," Beatrice is searching for the Forbidden Rings of Aphrodite, a mythic treasure she suspects played a role in her uncle's death. Beatrice finds Leo every bit as fascinating as one of the heroes in her novels--and she's convinced he's the only one who can help her. But after only five minutes in her company, Leo is sure he's never met a woman more infuriating...and more likely to rescue him from boredom.
Yet the alliance may well prove to be the biggest mistake of their lives. For a villain lurks in London, waiting for the pair to unearth the Forbidden Rings--knowing that when they do, that day will be their last....
With This Ring is formulaic fun, in that light-gothic romantic-suspense subgenre that Amanda Quick does so well. To save her family’s finances, Beatrice needs to find the legendary relics on which her uncle spent his fortune. She consults Leo, who is known for his interest in legends and artifacts. He promptly tries to take over her investigation; determined and independent, Beatrice is in no wise prepared to let him do so. The ensuing partnership is half cooperative, half confrontational, though not in an antagonistic way, and it was amusing to watch them each try to assert control.
Both hero and heroine are mature (Leo is about 40 and and Beatrice is 30), giving them each more confidence and worldliness than a younger character might have. Both are widowed, and have vowed not to marry again; you can guess how that particular resolution will end! There are the usual physical sparks, but it’s not until there are no more secrets between them that Leo and Beatrice can admit their feelings for each other go deeper than a simple affair.
Since this is Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz), the plot is convoluted, with several twists and turns that are meant to be unexpected. I’ve read enough of her work by now that I saw a lot of them coming, which is one reason I’m giving With This Ring 3.5 stars instead of 4. Still, I enjoyed the book for what it is: light escape reading with a healthy dose of romance and a soupçon of suspense.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- The Backlist Reader Challenge 2018