Hero: Arthur Lancaster, Earl of St. Merryn, needs a fake fiance to distract the ton while he's hunting a murderer. A real one is too much bother and prone to runaway. So how does one acquire a fake fiance without worrying about the silly chit wanting to actually get married? Arthur devises a great plan to solve the conundrum - hire a paid companion! Such a chit needs funds and will have no illusions. She'll be well-bred and respectable and everything a real fiance must be in order to pass scrutiny. But so far he hasn't found one to fit the job - you'd think there would be at least one young lady around wouldn't you?
Heroine: Elenora Lodge, ex-heiress, lost everything she owned because of her stepfather's get rich schemes. She manages to secure the farm worker's positions and steal her jewelry when leaving. The jewelry provides a safety net for a better future. Elenora wants to own a book store and is willing to work as a paid companion to get there, except she can't find a suitable position all the ones the agency sends her to are cretins and drunkards. Can an unusual proposition yield the results she so desires?
Review: If you like steampunk overtones you will love this romance. The alchemy is a science that just seems like magic involving lasers to make Jove's Thunderbolt. Even creepy criminal butlers get their just desserts. Loved the hero and heroine. Everything was wonderful in this book and hit all my buttons just right. I love it when books do that - this is a keeper!