I'm one of the publishers of All About Romance. I love reading romance, as well as mysteries, fantasy, history and historical fiction, and all kinds of other things. Staying on Goodreads for now but trying this out in case I decide to switch.
I really liked the first book in this series, so I pounced on The London Deception as soon as it was available. This one starts off well, but veers off into the Land of WTF before letting the hero and heroine ride off into the sunset.
Rowan Steele grew up in a loving home with her grandparents, but the loss of her parents caused her to have a troubled adolescence. The idea that she would steal as a teenager because the thrill of it made her actually feel something goes far beyond the usual, often somewhat vague "I was abused and nobody loved me" backstories that troubled heroines get saddled with in romantic suspense. It also explained why the teenage Rowan might encounter a semi-professional thief like Finn Gallagher on a London rooftop. It's an encounter that manages to be both romantic and traumatic for Rowan and as we see later in the book, it shapes her life to some degree.
The main story takes us forward in time several years. By now, Rowan's grandparents have taken her in hand and she works for the family security business. Perhaps more surprisingly, Finn has also gone legit and is a self-made business success story. The two meet once more when Finn hires Rowan's company for a project and she gets the assignment. As part of his business, Finn is involved in making sure that artifacts from an archeology dig in Egypt are properly documented and verified and since Rowan has an interest in the dig, she jumps at the chance to be involved.
The plot centers mainly on Rowan and Finn getting reacquainted with each other and also working through everything that happened to them that long-ago night when they first met at a heist. Before the two even leave for Egypt, they find themselves at the receiving end of threats and attacks in a plot that gradually builds up tension as it progresses.
Had the steady build in tension continued and led to a good payoff in the end, my grade on this book would be much higher. Instead we just get a story with a rather abrupt tying up of loose ends, a solution that makes little sense and a villain whose motivations really do seem contrived. Disappointing end to a promising story.