Working in a seedy Victorian era dance hall, Lily Rafferty does her best to avoid doing anything too distasteful with the hall’s unsavory customers. On her third night of the job, however, she meets a man who turns her world upside down. Rhys Trevan Morgan, Viscount Talfryn, has come to the dance hall to investigate the death of several young women, but he is unexpectedly intrigued with one dancer in particular. When he rescues Lily from abuse by one of the club’s customers, he suddenly becomes her patron and protector. By the end of the evening, he has allowed her to get too close for comfort, and definitely too close to prevent her from discovering his darkest secret.
Susanne Saville’s DANCE MACABRE grabbed me from the first paragraph and never let me go until the end. I enjoyed every moment of the journey into late 19th century London and meeting Lily Rafferty, a heroine determined to do whatever she must to survive her impoverished situation. The story’s hero, Rhys Morgan, Viscount Talfryn, is deliciously complicated: honorable, mysterious, and protective. He is a man with a hidden agenda and an affliction he must expose, though it may cost him everything.
The story is fast-paced and I enjoyed the fact that the entire action of the story took place in one evening. Susanne Saville does a masterful job of developing colorful characters quickly and creating a solid romance out of shared adventures and conflict. It is completely believable that Lily and Rhys come to care for each other so much in one night.
For history lovers, Saville infuses this story with careful attention to the details of the darker side of life in Victorian London. For mystery lovers, she includes the backdrop of the unsolved murders and Rhys’ secret investigation. DANCE MACABRE is a quick, engaging read and a satisfying mix of history, mystery and romance.
Caught in a web of poverty and injustice, Lily Rafferty takes employment in a dancehall. Though she loathes being viewed as a pretty piece of meat wrapped in silk for the enjoyment of the West End gentlemen out for a bit of slumming, she can't help but feel her luck is about to change.
Rhys Trevan Morgan, Viscount Talfryn is a vampire with a mission. Another supernatural creature prowls the night leaving a trail of blood and gore in its wake that eventually leads him to London's East End and to the Barbary Coast dancehall. He doesn't need the distraction of coming to the aid of a young woman forced to strip and parade herself on stage for the voyeuristic pleasure of the club's wealthy patrons.
Soon, the momentary distraction becomes a craving Rhys can't resist and he wonders if the fair Lily will be the end of his frightful curse or the vehicle of his destruction.