A Romance Novel by KJ Charles.
Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes, the Duke of Ilvar's younger son, detests his father and step-mother. Therefore, he hires a pair of jewel thieves to steal a priceless diamond arrangement his father intends to gift to his step-mother for their anniversary.
As the Duke's castle is a difficult target, Alec has to pretend that one of the thieves, the famous Lilywhite Boys, Jerry Crozier, is a gentleman of standing and even more importantly: Alec's best friend.
Quickly, sparks fly between Alec and Jerry, but betrayals are part of the business and the situation is tense...
Has a sequel in Gilded Cage.
Tropes in this book
- Dark Secret: The Duke of Ilvar and his new wife both murdered their spouses so that they could marry one another.
- Dysfunctional Family: Well, Alec's father refuses to acknowledge his children, they hate him, and the less is said about that step-mother the better.
- Hero of Another Story: Susan Lazarus has a not insignificant part in this story, but her main story is told in the sequel Gilded Cage and, her origins, in the semi-prequel An Unnatural Vice. Likewise, the second of the Lilywhite Boys, Templeton Lane, is barely featured and returns in the sequel, and the fence Stan has his own story in The Ratcatchers Daughter.
- I Have No Son!: The Duke of Ilvar refuses to acknowledge his children, choosing his wife over them repeatedly.
- Ill Girl: Alec's sister Cara in the backstory. She'd always had weak lungs, apparently, and died of a cold in combination with the fog of London.
- Harmful to Minors: Cara found her mother dead when she was ten years old, and realized that her father had murdered her, but was so traumatized by it that she couldn't talk about it for years.
- The Lost Lenore: In a platonic sense. A big part of why Alec decides to make his father pay now is the death of his beloved sister Cara a few months earlier, which might have been averted if their father had lend them just a bit more money to get her to a healthier place.
- Private Detective: Susan Lazarus, maybe the only investigator even the Lilywhite Boys fear.
- The Reveal: Alec always planned to double cross the Lilywhite Boys and blackmail them into opening the Duchess' safe, in hopes of finding proof of the murder she committed.
- Starving Artist: Played With. Alec's work as an illustrator allows him to pay for a place to live and he doesn't appear to want for food or clothes, so he is by no means actually starving, but given his station as the son of a Duke people still consider him as such.
- The Suffragette: Alec mentions that Cara and Susan met in a Suffragette meeting, implying they were (and in Susan's case probably still is) both this.