Author: Cat Sebastian
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Audiobook Length: 9 hours 14 minutes
Cat Sebastian returns to Georgian London with a stunning tale of a reluctant criminal and the thief who cannot help but love her.
Marian Hayes, the Duchess of Clare, just shot her husband. Of course, the evil, murderous man deserved what was coming to him, but now she must flee to the countryside. Unfortunately, the only person she can ask for help is the charismatic criminal who is blackmailing her—and who she may have left tied up a few hours before…
A highwayman, con artist, and all-around cheerful villain, Rob Brooks is no stranger to the wrong side of the law or the right side of anybody’s bed. He never meant to fall for the woman whose secrets he promised to keep for the low price of five hundred pounds, but how could he resist someone who led him on a merry chase all over London, left him tied up in a seedy inn, and then arrived covered in her husband’s blood and in desperate need of his help?
As they flee across the country—stopping to pick pockets, drink to excess, and rescue invalid cats—they discover more true joy and peace than either has felt in ages. But when the truth of Rob’s past catches up to him, they must decide if they are willing to reshape their lives in order to forge a future together.
The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes overlaps with the timeline of The Queer Principles of Kit Webb in Georgian London. Therefore, it is best to read Kit’s story before beginning this one. Pieces of Marian and Rob’s story are recapped in this novel, but I still think that it is best to read the two stories in order. After events with her husband, Marian Hayes, the Duchess of Clare, must flee to the countryside. There is the secret that she is not the rightful Duchess along with the shooting of her husband, so Marian now needs to figure out how to make everything right.
Rob Brooks found out that his mother is the rightful Duchess and has been exchanging letters with Marian in attempts to blackmail her. The blackmail attempt goes awry when Marian seeks out Rob to help her move forward past the shooting of the Duke. Through the letters the two characters exchanged, the reader can read between the lines to see there is more to each other and their connection than the blackmail. The two characters continue building a connection as they begin to spend time together.
Overall, the two characters have great chemistry. I appreciated that both characters were bisexual, and the writing integrated this part of them without it seeming forced. Since this story weaves together with Kit and Percy’s story, I loved how those two characters were joined into this one. The pacing of this story is not quite as seamless as the first novel but was still a great read. This was also a nice take on the grumpy/sunshine dynamic with Marian being grumpier and Rob being more sunshine. The two characters had a great connection and I loved reading their story. I still wanted a little more in terms of background and development, but I would easily read more from the author in the future.