I usually try to read books in a series in the order they are supposed to be read. It is the unusual occasion when I skip around.  That is because you never know whether an author provides enough recap on the universe they bring to life with tier books to pick up in the middle, or if you will be left struggling trying to figure out what is going on.  Since often, it is hard to find a series when the author provides the right balance of recap and new story.  But, there are places for each, I believe, in the serial world.

Here, in the forth installment of the House of Rohan Series, Shameless, by Anne Stuart I believe I found myself in the category where we don’t get much recap.  But, given the story, it wasn’t really necessary.  And that was a pleasant surprise.  When there is no real recap, often it is easy to get lost and to feel like it’s not worth finishing.  Here, we got a great little story, a great setting, interesting characters, and a world that I will go back to – to catch up on what I missed.

The story is of a victorian era Lady Carstairs, who is nicknamed “Charity” behind her back because of the causes she supports.  Namely, rescuing women and girls from a life of prostitution, and training them to be teachers, cooks, seamstresses and the like.  She meets Viscount Benedik Rohan when she flies to the rescue o a lady known for certain talents.  And the Lady has information about the organization called the Heavenly Host taking part in sinister rituals involving sex and violence.  She enlists the Viscount’s assistance in stopping the rituals, since she hears that his brother has become involved.  As they partner to prevent this, they fall for each other.

I have said before that the books in this genre will never win any literary prizes.  But here, we were given an intriguing story, a great villain in the Host and it’s participants.  The Viscount was an awesome character and despite Charity’s annoying rhetoric about the dangers of sex, they made a fun couple to read about.

I typically steer towards the para-normal romance and not period romances, but this was such delightful and steamy fun that I look forward to the first 3 House of Rohan books – and any that might come after this installment, Shameless!


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