Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

The weather in Scotland may not be ideal, but for Alfred Pennington, the Earl of Crawford, and his lover, Dominick Trent, Balcarres House has offered an oasis of peace and isolation. Here they can be themselves, without a host of prying eyes, and they can put the horrors and dangers of London far behind them. Or so they think. It seems the past is not quite done with them and when the husband of Alfred’s beloved Mrs. Hirkins falls ill, Alfred is compelled to return to London. They arrive too late to be of use to Mr. Hirkins and find themselves embroiled in the sudden murder of another family member. Dominick would rather spirit Alfie far away from yet another murder, but the ties that bind keep them on the hunt for a dangerous killer. 

Drawn back into impoverished neighborhood of their youth, Alfie and Dominick must confront the tragedy of their shared past and an increasingly deadly mystery involving a burial club, a mysterious ledger, and a betrayal of those most in need. They have each other, but even that may not be enough to save them. 

His Lordship’s Return is the third full book in the His Lordship’s Mysteries series and I think it’s fairly importantly to read these books in order. The overall plots are only mildly connected, but to fully appreciate the depth of Alfie and Nick’s romance, it’s best to start with the first book, His Lordship’s Secret. 

His Lordship’s Return reads as a longer, more mature entry into the series and, as a result, I found it incredibly enjoyable. That said, it came with a few snags, most notably some pacing issues. At the center are Alfie and Nick, who have entered a comfortable and yet more profound phase of their relationship. They’re more passionate and committed and yet their dependence one another is intrinsic without being excessive. They fight and love more intensely, but they’re both still wrestling with the traumas of their past, not the least of which is their time in the workhouse as children. They’re a sweet and loving couple and one that continue to grow and evolve. It’s safe to say they’ve become one of my favorite couples

There are some pacing problems this time around and while I wouldn’t call them significant, they were more noticeable. There are sections, especially towards the center of the novel, where the plot seemed to be treading water rather than actually progressing. It wasn’t exactly filler, but it didn’t move with the consistent smoothness I expected. These laggy pockets don’t heavily detract from the wider story; they just tended slow things down. There were also a couple of instances where the plot tended to wander off track. These were momentary blips and, while they allowed for a bit of character exploration, I’m not sure they added anything overall.  

On the whole, I enjoyed His Lordship’s Return and Alfie and Nick are the reason I keep coming back. Their relationship is fine mix of angst, warmth, and affection and hits every mark for me. There are some pacing issues, but they don’t cripple the entire story. If you’ve enjoyed the rest of the series, then this installment won’t disappoint. 

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