Review: The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian
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.
Dear Cat Sebastian,
I will be honest – after I had read “Queer Principles of Kit Webb” which I have reviewed here, I had very little interest in finding out whether Rob and Marian, especially Marian, would have their happily ever after – separately or together. Jayne gifted me this book though and I figured why not to read it. I was looking for more Kit and Percy and they definitely make some cameos appearances of the type I like – they were involved in the plot, not just author parading them around and saying “oh look at how happy we are.”
This is first and foremost a book about Marian and Rob. I still cannot say that they completely won me over due to the ‘profession’ they chose to practice, but I ended up really liking the development of the relationship between them. If ever there was a romance where the main idea was that not so good people deserve love, too, this was it for me. By the way I am also aware that the author likely wanted me to view them as people who will do whatever is needed to defend their families/ friends and that’s fine. I have had very little problem with Marian shooting her husband, I don’t see that she had much of the choice in the matter if she indeed wanted to protect the people around her, but my era of fascination with Robin Hood ended long time ago.
Now about the relationship. I loved it. I did not expect to love it so much, but both Marian and Rob realizing that they love and trust each other, it was wonderful to read about it. I loved it so much that I did not care about the book being extremely slow paced – because I agree with some reviews, that in the middle of the book nothing much happens except them having the romance and SEX. Can I tell you how much I loved the sex and I loved it so much that I would have happily read more sex scenes. See Rob likes to please his partners first and foremost, so you can say that Marian becomes a dominant partner (nothing hardcore or anything like that, but it was clear to me). I also loved that there was no anal sex in the book and the way not having it was handled. I often complain that every single couple in an m/m story must Must have anal sex and I was very pleasantly surprised that m/f couple did not have it – just for variety sake. It also made a perfect sense in the story why they did not have it.
“You said that all I had to do was say the word.” “Oh God,” he said. “Have you always been this brave?” She sniffed. “Obviously.” With that, she rested her head on his chest and went to sleep.”‘She knew the outside of his body and the inside of his mind and somehow, under her hands, it all connected. She thought that maybe if she could get her hands all over him, every inch of him, then maybe it would all start to make sense.”