Monday, April 6, 2015

Deception on Sable Hill

ISBN: 0310338506
Pages: 352
Source: BookLooks
Publication Date: April 7, 2015

The World’s Fair is nearing its end, but the danger in Chicago lingers.
It's mid-September of 1893 and Eloisa Carstairs is the reigning beauty of Gilded Age Chicago society. To outsiders she appears to have it all. But Eloisa is living with a dark secret. Several months ago, she endured a horrible assault at the hands of Douglass Sloane, heir to one of Chicago's wealthiest families. Fearing the loss of her reputation, Eloisa confided in only one friend. That is, until she meets Detective Sean Ryan at a high-society ball.
Sean is on the outskirts of the wealthy Chicago lifestyle. Born into a poor Irish family, becoming a policeman was his best opportunity to ensure his future security. Despite society's restrictions, he is enamored with Eloisa Carstairs. Sean seethes inside at what he knows happened to her, and he will do anything to keep her safe-even if he can never earn her affections.

Hello everyone! Welcome to my review for Deception on Sable Hill by Shelley Gray! This is the second book in the Chicago World Fair Mystery trilogy and comes out TOMORROW so be sure to pick it up if you're interested! 

Eloisa Carstairs is one of the reigning beauties of the high Chicago society, but she has a secret. A couple months ago, she was assaulted by Douglass Sloane, heir to one of Chicago's most influential families. He might have died in an accident, but she has not shaken her fear of being in an enclosed space with a single man. Detective Sean Ryan has been hired to keep a watch out for the Society Slasher who has been murdering high debutants. He befriends Eloisa, unable to resist her ethereal beauty despite the fact that they are of two complete different social ladders and their relationship can be nothing more than a friendship. When the Slasher starts to hit closer to Eloisa, Sean has to make sure that he protects the woman who's captured his heart, even if he can't even capture hers.

I don't know if you could tell from the summary above, but this book is pretty focused on romance. If you go into this novel thinking you're going to get a chill-creeping murder thriller, you'll be disappointed because the murders, while important, take a back seat when compared to the romance aspect of the story. I found this out from another review on Goodreads and it made all the difference to me when I was reading this book. With that being said, the romance of this novel specifically addresses the issue of overcoming the social barriers and not being confined to society's expectations. Detective Ryan is from a poor Irish family, but with his position in the police force, he's already moved up the ladder a bit, but not enough to enter the elite. The relationship between him and Eloisa is so adorable with him trying to figure out how to treat a lady and she is trying to convince him that he doesn't need to be someone he's not. 

That brings me to the topic of Eloisa Carstairs. I can't say much about her other than she's kind of your typical elite girl. She's suffered rape from someone of the same circle which has made her extremely distrustful of others. To be honest, she's kind of flat, but she does have a good heart when she volunteers to help the children and women at the Hope House. Her feelings toward Sean are kind of "insta" but not in the love way. It's more in the fact that he makes her feel safe and protected while the gentlemen she usually hangs with don't. 

Sean is definitely more dimensional than Eloisa. As he's from the lower class, he struggles with fitting in with the elites as well as with his childhood neighborhood, some who believe that he joined the police force to leave behind his lowly past. He's really dedicated to his job and it's really cute to see how fluttery he gets when he's around Eloisa sometimes. His sisters were also really interesting characters, particularly his younger sister Katie. She's definitely a fireball but has her fears about breaching society. However, that doesn't stop her from dreaming about some possible relationship with a certain person who is technically a couple classes higher than her.

The final reveal of the who the Society Slasher was kind of disappointing. I didn't do the research to see if the Slasher was a real person, but as a character, he wasn't as twisted and messed up as I had kind of hoped he would be. Over the summer I read Devil in the White City which focused on the serial killer HH Holmes. Now that man is messed up. The Slasher attacked his victims because they didn't give him enough attention. To me that's just bratty bordering on creepy. 

Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I'm definitely curious to check out the first book. I believe the third book comes out sometime in the fall of this year which is exciting. Oh, one last thing: the covers! I love the designs of the covers with the subtle silhouette of the woman, lace detailing on the top, and the overlay of photographs from the World Far. Just thought I'd point that out. :)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

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