As a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Benedict Frost had the respect of every man on board--and the adoration of the women in every port. When injury ends his naval career, the silver-tongued libertine can hardly stomach the boredom. Not after everything--and everyone--he's experienced. Good thing a new adventure has just fallen into his lap…
When courtesan Charlotte Perry learns the Royal Mint is offering a reward for finding a cache of stolen gold coins, she seizes the chance to build a new life for herself. As the treasure hunt begins, she realizes her tenacity is matched only by Benedict's--and that sometimes adversaries can make the best allies. But when the search for treasure becomes a discovery of pleasure, they'll be forced to decide if they can sacrifice the lives they've always dreamed of for a love they've never known…
Praise for the novels of Theresa Romain
"One of the best books I have ever read, bar none…Romain's exquisite prose and extraordinary storytelling skills take us on a splendid and unforgettable journey." --Fresh Fiction on Season for Desire
Praise for Theresa Romain and her Holiday Pleasures
"Theresa Romain writes witty, gorgeous, and deeply emotional historical romance." --Vanessa Kelly, one of Booklist's "new stars of historical romance"
"Theresa Romain has a talent, a rare ability to blend beautiful writing, great characters, delicious banter and a lovely romance, all in one perfect package." --TBQ's Book Palace
"If you're looking for a sparkling, witty Regency romance that will have you laughing with joy and sighing with satisfaction, look no further than Theresa Romain's Season for Temptation." --The Romance Dish
"A holiday charmer that is rife with lively wit, delightful prose, and an abundance of unforgettable characters." --Library Journal on Season for Surrender
"This third book in Theresa Romain's aptly named Holiday Pleasures series is both playful and profound, and has a subtle, stirring power that will affect you long after you've read the final page." --USA Today's Happy Ever After blog on Season for Scandal
About the Author
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Fortune Favors the Wicked
By Theresa Romain
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Theresa St. Romain
All rights reserved.
From the Slovene lands to the South Sea, no place in the world smelled like one's first whiff of London. The world of the London docks was acrid from coal smoke, pungent from yesterday's spoiling fish and the sludgy water of the Thames.
When Benedict Frost was a boy of twelve, new to the Royal Navy, these had once seemed the scents of home, of freedom from the small cage of shipboard life.
Now, as a man of twenty-nine, he would rather encounter them as a farewell before a journey — and the longer the journey, the better. If a ship were a small cage, England was nothing but a large one.
With determined strides, Benedict disembarked from the Argent. He wouldn't need to stay in England more than a few days. The Argent was leaving port before the end of the week, and he'd be back in his familiar berth when it did. Before then, all he needed to do was to deliver his manuscript to George Pitman and arrange payment. The precious handwritten pages were heavy in his satchel; in his right hand, his metal-tipped hickory cane thumped on the solid wooden planks underfoot.
He took another step.
"Oy! Frost!" The unmistakable tones of a sailor: wind-coarse and carrying.
Benedict halted, donning an expression of good cheer at being thus summoned. He didn't recognize the voice, so he said only, "Oy, yourself. How goes your day?"
"Thinking of a treasure hunt. How about you? Goin' to seek the royal reward?"
The what? Benedict covered confusion with a devil-may-care grin. "Not this time. A man's got no need to hunt treasure if he makes his own." He ignored the snigger of a reply, adding, "Good luck to you, though."
With a wave of his cane that fell somewhere between a salute and a bugger-off, he continued on his way.
But something was off about the docks. Step by step, it became more obvious. Where was the usual ribald clamor? What had happened to the sailors negotiating with hard-voiced whores, to the halloos and curses as cargo was unloaded? Instead, quiet conversations clustered behind broadsheets, the cheap paper crackling as sailors passed it from hand to hand.
"Theft o' the century, they're callin' it," muttered one as Benedict walked by.
"Aye," agreed another. "You'd want balls of brass to steal from the Royal Mint."
Or balls of gold, Benedict thought. Ever since the war with France had begun, England had been bleeding gold — so much gold, the whole system of currency had recently been revised. Still, creditors were reluctant to take paper money or silver.
Benedict couldn't fault them. He wasn't interested in paper money either.
And so he listened a bit more closely to the conversations he passed, easing free of his sea legs with long strides that carried him westward from the docks of Wapping. Miles of pavement, a test of his memory of London. On every street, the city shifted, with roughened naval types giving way to sedate professionals. But the sounds were the same. Newspapers rustled, and that odd phrase echoed from person to person: the theft of the century.
Since the year was only 1817, this seemed a premature declaration. But as Benedict stowed away more overheard details, he could not deny that the crime sounded as audacious as it was outrageous. Four guards had been shot, and six trunks of the new golden sovereigns had been stolen before any of the coins entered circulation. The loss was estimated at fifty thousand pounds.
And that was it. There had been no further clue for weeks, not a single incriminating coin spent. The Royal Mint had just offered a substantial reward for the return of the money.
So. That was the royal reward of which the sailors had spoken. England would soon become a nation of privateers, hunting for coin in the name of the Crown.
Benedict turned over the possibility of joining them. He had attained the frigid summit of Mont Blanc; surely he could spend a few balmy May days to locate a hoard of coins on his native soil. The reward offered by the Royal Mint would allow him to increase his sister Georgette's dowry from pitiful to respectable.
Tempting. Very tempting. The mere thought of a treasure hunt eased the hollow ache of being in London's heart. Why, it might be like ... like not being in England at all.
But his manuscript would offer the same reward while still allowing him to depart on the Argent. Just as he had told the sailors: he had already drafted his own treasure. Now it was time to claim it.
He strode forth, cane clicking the pavement with his renewed determination, in the direction of Paternoster Row and the office of George Pitman, publisher.
Two weeks later
"He wore a cloak with a hood coverin' his face," the serving girl held forth to an eager group of listeners. "But I looked beneath the hood and saw his eyes. They were demon eyes, red as fire!"
Behind her veil, Charlotte's mouth curved. She could not help but roll her eyes — which were non-demon features, closer to the color of a leaf than a flame.
Alone of the reward seekers in the common room of the Pig and Blanket, Charlotte had heard Nance's tale time and again. It was different with each retelling, and therefore each account revealed something different about Nancy Goff herself. About what she thought important, or shameful, or likely to win her the coins of a stranger.
Somewhere within that coil was the truth.
Which was why, for a second endless day, Charlotte sat alone, listening, in the corner of a Derbyshire inn's common room. The Pig and Blanket was ordinary in every way, from the middling quality of the ale and food to the indifferent cleanliness of the tables.
Ordinary in every way, that is, save one. A week ago, in this inn, Nance had been paid with a gold sovereign. Since no one had gold sovereigns yet except the Royal Mint and the thieves who had stolen six trunks of uncirculated coins ... well.
It was the first clue related to the theft, and it was a good one. And like seemingly half of England, Charlotte had followed it. All the way from the squalid rented room she had just taken in Seven Dials. She was in far less danger among the neighborhood's thieves and cutthroats than she was in her luxurious town house, or promenading the rarefied streets of Mayfair.
In Derbyshire, she was still in danger, but of a different sort. Thus the veil.
And the solitude.
"I knew he was a wrong one," preened Nance, tossing the brunette curls she had today left uncovered by the usual cap. A pretty young woman of about twenty years, she swanned about the common room of the Pig and Blanket, distributing drinks and scooping up coins. "Had that look about him. It was as much as I could do to carry his ale without spillin' it. So afraid, I was! Shiverin' in my boots."
This last was spoken in a tone of such relish that Charlotte smiled again. Ten years ago, nearing the end of her teens, she'd had the same sort of vigor. Would she have told a story ten times, embroidering it more with each telling?
No, she would have told it eleven. Twelve. As many times as someone would listen, and in her dark-haired, bright-eyed enthusiasm, she might have looked much like Nance. Even now, she wanted to join in; even now it hurt to sit at the side of the room, alone. It hurt to cover her face with a veil, to miss the shadings of expression that flitted across the faces of others when they were interested. Bored. Curious. In thrall.
Despite the crowds packed into the common room to drink in Nance's dramatic tale along with their ale, the other seat at Charlotte's table remained empty. Somehow the sweep of blurry gray net across her face made her as fearsome as the demon-eyed stranger who had given Nance the gold coin.
The veil was a nuisance, like peering through smoke. But years of notoriety had taught Charlotte that sometimes the annoyance of a veil was preferable to the greater inconvenience of being recognized.
With a wiggle of her significant bosom, Nance scooped up a stray coin from a table. "'Twasn't only his demon eyes that gave me that sort of shivery feelin'. No, it were the cloak, too. Nobody covers up like that in spring, does they? Not unless they has somethin' to hide."
Behind her covering veil, Charlotte chuckled. Nance was a shrewd girl.
The inn's door was shoved open, marking the entrance of a new visitor. From her seat near the corner, Charlotte had a view of everyone who entered the small foyer before passing by or turning into the common room.
This was an odd sort of shove at the door, slow and deliberate and interrupted by several thumps. And the figure who accompanied it, washed by golden afternoon sunlight before the door closed behind him, was no less unusual. He was broad and large and dark, wearing a naval uniform. Through her veil, Charlotte could not pick out detail enough to determine his rank. But whether an admiral or a lieutenant, a sailor had no business in landlocked Derbyshire — unless he, too, were hunting the stolen coins.
Nance must have thought the same, for she cut off her tale and began swiping the nearest table with a grimy cloth and an expression of pious concentration. A few coins would set her to talking again, like an automaton being wound.
The boisterous common room had gone quiet, watching the new arrival progress across the room. Before each step, he smacked his cane against the floor like a gesture of emphasis. I have arrived, damn you. Look my way. And who could not? His determined features were like a thundercloud on this spring day: one ought to be wary lest a storm drew close.
Until he reached the center of the room and spoke in a low, pleasant tone. "Greetings, all. I heard such a welcoming din as I approached that I couldn't help but enter." His brows lifted in a puckish curve. "There is no need to end your party on my account. I'm quite a pleasant fellow, I promise you."
His reassurance was enough to coax the din to recommence, first in a slow trickle, then like the tumble of the nearby Kinder Downfall after a torrential rain. Once Nance took the man's order for ale, then picked up the thread of her tale about the cloaked visitor with demon eyes, it was almost impossible to hear the thumps of the cane on the wide-planked floor.
Until they sounded before Charlotte.
"I beg your pardon. Might I sit at this table?"
The broad figure was planted before her, the sailor's tone quiet and courteous.
But for a man to ask to sit with a lone woman to whom he had not been introduced — this was so bold that for a moment Charlotte could only blink. "Here? With — me?" Of course with her. It was the only empty seat in the common room. "Yes, all right."
To forbid him a place at her table would be to draw more attention than to agree. And within her left sleeve, the hidden penknife was reassuringly solid.
"You are very good, madam. Thank you. I don't mean to bother you, I assure you. Ah — are you quite alone at this table?"
"As you see."
"Right," he murmured. "Right." With a deliberate gesture, the sailor drew out the empty chair and settled his large frame within it. The cane that had announced his presence with solid thumps was now balanced across his thighs.
Not that Charlotte looked at his thighs; she was only looking at the cane. Lord. She'd had enough of men, and their thighs, and every other one of their parts.
Nance flounced over and slopped a tankard onto the table, naming a price that had both Charlotte and the sailor jerking with surprise. Every hour, the prices at the Pig and Blanket went up. How much was this due to the owner's rapaciousness during this moment of fame, and how much to the serving girl spotting the rare chance to line her own pocket?
A shrewd girl; very shrewd.
But one could never be shrewd enough, and Charlotte's brow creased with worry.
"Thank you." The sailor took a few coins from his pocket, tracing a thumb over them, then handed two to Nance. This won him a grin and a curtsy before she flounced off.
He cocked his head. "It was no gold sovereign, but she liked that well enough. Ah — did you want anything, madam? Shall I call her back?"
"I need nothing at the moment. Thank you." Atop the smooth-rubbed wooden table was a single pottery tankard in which remained an inch of yeasty ale. She had sipped at it for hours, until the innkeeper's wife began to cast resentful glances her way. Soon Charlotte would have to buy something else — another ale, maybe, or a bowl of stew — in order to keep her seat.
Her little sigh set the cloudy net veil to dancing before her face. How warm the day was; she wished she could sweep off her veil and deep-brimmed bonnet. She was perspiring under their unaccustomed weight.
All right, not only because of their weight. Too long had she hidden without taking action, and the knowledge prompted a dew of worry. But was it safer to stay or to leave?
"Thank you for the seat." The man's voice broke into her thoughts. "I've been traveling unexpectedly for some time, and the chance to sit is welcome. Benedict Frost is my name."
"Of His Majesty's Royal Navy, I see. Have you been traveling by land or sea?" Charlotte had learned the markers of rank; in her profession, one had to pick out the important men at a glance. Now that he sat close to her, she could make out the details of dress she had missed before. His high-collared blue coat looked well enough, but the gold buttons and the white piping about them proclaimed him a lieutenant.
In her previous life in London, she would have chilled him with a quelling flip of her fan, then passed him by.
Now ... she wondered about him. The cane; the careful touch at the coins; the surprised lift of his brows when she spoke. Was his vision dim? If she could sweep aside her veil and look at him — really look at his eyes — she would be able to tell in an instant.
Not that it mattered for his sake. But for hers, it would mean that she wouldn't have to hide her face from him.
"I've traveled by both land and sea within the past fortnight." He sighed. "And river. On wheel and on foot, and if there are any other ways to travel, I've probably found them, too."
"Horseback? Hobby-horse?" Charlotte thought for a moment. "Ostrich cart?"
"Ah, there you've got me. It has just become one of the great sadnesses of my life that I have never traveled by ostrich cart."
Considering Charlotte had just made it up, this was no wonder. She had missed friendly conversation of this sort, so she added, "From where have you traveled, Lieutenant?"
"Most recently from France, then London. But I'm no longer active in the navy." A flash of white teeth against tanned skin. "I've still the right to wear the uniform, though, and ladies seem to like it."
Some roguery made Charlotte ask, "What of the men?"
"Probably some of them do, too. But I admit" — he leaned forward with a conspiring air — "the true reason I wear it is because a man in uniform is always in fashion and need not concern himself with the changing styles."
"Ah, you are practical as well as attractive."
He pressed a hand to his chest. "You honor me, madam."
"I simply repeat your own ideas."
"You assume they are correct, though. You've only my say to support my practicality or my effect on the female sex." He grinned, a sliver of sunshine.
Ha. She had more than his word for the latter; she had her own response. She had a weakness for strong men, for men who grinned at her as though she were delightful. A sunrise smile always made her want to open like a flower — a response that had led more than once to her plucking.
Benedict Frost cut a figure of rough elegance: hair dark as soot, and as curling as Charlotte's was stubbornly straight. A strong jaw, a sun-browned complexion. Broad shoulders and ungloved hands. A cane that demanded a person look at him; a voice low enough to allow him to listen.
"Though I have naught but your word," she replied, "the fact that you admit it is in your favor. In a coaching inn, no one knows anyone else. We all must go on faith that we are what we seem."
Not that he should have a bit of faith in her, as she added, "I am called ... Smith." She could not give him the name familiar to the locals. And too many in London knew the assumed name of Charlotte Pearl; a sailor who hadn't been in the navy for some years might well be one of them.
He took a long drink of his ale. "Well, Mrs. Smith, I'm pleased to make your acquaintance. But I haven't the leisure for going on faith."
"I don't think the situation is so dire as to require that," she said lightly. "These crowds are not here because of faith, Lieutenant Frost. They are here because of evidence."
Excerpted from Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain. Copyright © 2016 Theresa St. Romain. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Complex and layered does not begin to explain the story here: but in so many ways this complexity added to the enjoyment, with only one or two hiccups. Woven together with a mystery treasure hunt (near literal) the two very disparate characters of Benedict and Charlotte are brought together from very different backgrounds. Naval Knight, once former Lieutenant in the Navy, Benedict Frost essentially grew up in the Navy, joining at 12, and serving faithfully through a rise up the ranks until an illness left him blind. Now having worked very hard to overcome the disability, he’s finding himself constrained and bored. Charlotte Perry, daughter of a vicar was ruined years ago, ran to London and without extensive funds or options redesigned herself as “Le Perle”, a courtesan to the upper reaches of society. She too, has tired of the life she is living and is ready for a change. Six trunks of newly minted gold sovereigns were stolen from the Royal Mint, and a reward has been offered for their return. What a perfect opportunity to change their lives forever. Both Benedict and Charlotte are wonderful characters: he’s not self-pitying or morose, she’s not jaded or angry, both just want to do the best for their families and their own futures. While the mystery best serves to bring the two of them together and allow their acquaintance to turn to fondness, showing us how they balance as a couple, interact and even complement one another as they puzzle it out. While it often felt that Charlotte’s decision making was far more modern than the time would allow, those moments kept the story more modern than I am used to from historical romances, although it was no less enjoyable for that. While I had a few niggles with the choices Charlotte made and the plausibility of them, the story did smoothly transition from the guilt and regrets that were foremost in her mind to the budding relationship with Benedict and the changes that she sees as he slowly regains a sense of purpose and confidence with each new revelation. A solid start to a series. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
This was an interesting Regency adventure with a lot going on! There's the fascinating way that Benedict gets around and lives his life as a blind man. There're the secrets of Charlotte's past. There's a treasure hunt for stolen gold coins. There's a murder mystery. There's the heartbreaking estrangement of both Charlotte and Benedict from their families and their struggle to put things right. And there's a tender, funny, and passionate love story as Charlotte and Benedict try to find a way to be together even when they are sure it is impossible. All the threads of the story are satisfactorily concluded with a little tease for what's going on with Benedict's sister and best friend in the next book.
I won this book from Theresa Romain and the Jaunty Quills with the promise of a fair and honest review. Theresa Romain continues to fascinate and entertain with her writing style. She creates characters that are flawed and disadvantaged but win through. This is the story of Benedict Frost, a former lieutenant in the Royal Navy due to an injury. He was blinded and is now learning to overcome his disability and find a way to support his sister. Charlotte Perry is a former courtesan who has returned home to search for a stolen treasure and claim the reward. Charlotte and Benedict start out as adversaries but become allies when danger draws near. You must read to see where to the story leads and ends.
This story had some interesting characters, both good and evil. There is treasure to be found and secrets to uncover. Benedict being blind gave a whole different feel to the story as we saw it through his eyes. Vibrations, smells, sounds. His frustrations. And we watched Charlotte struggle with her relationships and the ways her life changed as she made choices. There were plenty of interesting relationships. The story moved at a nice pace and the characters were well developed. There were sexual situations but not too graphic. Language was clean. I received an advanced reader ebook copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Would you believe that this is my first Theresa Romain book?! Like ever, ever?! Apparently, I did not get anyone's memo saying that I should read more Theresa Romain books! Well, now that I have (thank yoi very much, readers), I am enjoying her writing and writing style!! Three reasons to read Fortune Favors the Wicked X marks the spot - There is a treasure hunt! And shenanigans and adventure! In this book, the hero and heroine team up to hunt for the stolen gold! Unique characters - Get this: the hero is a BLIND ex-naval officer! The heroine is also a famous courtesan! They might be opposites but opposites are the best couples! They also have a distinctly modern voice that for some reason, really works! Lighthearted and fun - This is a fun romantic read, light, and sweet, with a little bit of spice to top it all off! I literally breezed through reading this book! Recommendations This is Theresa Romain's first book in her Royal Rewards series, so this is a definite must read! Perfect for fans of lighthearted historicals and less broody heroes! *I received this book for free via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Amazing England Benedict Frost earned the respect of every man on board ship as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and the adoration of the women in every port. The silver-tongued libertine can hardly stomach the boredom when an injury ends his navel career. Especially after everyone and everything he experienced. So it is a very good thing when a new adventure falls into his lap. Charlotte Perry is a courtesan who seizes the chance to build a new life for herself when she learns the Royal Mint is offering a reward for finding a cache of stolen gold coins. She soon realizes her tenacity is matched only by Benedict’s as the treasure hunt begins. She also learns that sometimes adversaries can make the best allies. When the search for the treasure becomes a discovery of pleasure they will both have to decide if the lives they envisioned can be sacrificed for a love they never dreamed of or have known. This is a wonderful story that is full of fun characters that pull the reader into the story and keeps them in until the very end. It will also have readers eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. This is great book to start a new series with. It takes the reader back in time and brings that time period to life as the reader gets more and more into the story. It will be interesting to see where the series goes and getting to know more interesting characters in the series.
This is book 1 in the Royal Rewards duo. Former courtesan, Charlotte Perry, wants to find the stolen cash of gold coins so that she can collect the reward and start her life over. She didn't count on the handsome stranger that wanted it for himself just as much as she did, or that she would find herself attracted to the man. After going blind while in the Royal Navy, Benedict Frost is living off of the half pay that is awarded to him. He wants the reward to make sure that his sister is taken care of. But when he meets Charlotte, they have to decide whether to be adversaries or to become partners and find the missing gold together. Will Charlotte and Benedict be able to find the gold before someone else does? I really enjoyed this story. It is not often that you encounter a H/H with a disability, but Benedict didn't let that stop him from doing all of the things that he loved. He had learned to adapt to a new way of life that compensated for his loss in a way that he was way better at things than most sighted people. I liked Charlotte too. I feel like she was taken advantage of when she was young and then she made the most of that situation. She was trying to make a new life for herself and never expected to find love. She was used to men facing for her for her looks, so when meeting Benedict she knew that any attraction he felt for her, had to be for other reasons. I liked that they became friends and got to know one another before they decided to act on their mutual attraction. I'm excited to read the next book, Passion Favors the Bold, which will be released in February, 2017. Thanks go out to Kensington via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
A wicked past does not mean no happily ever after. Charlotte is tired of her life and finds going home may be the answer. Benedict has triumphed over his disability but not his financial situation. This brings him into Charlotte's life. Treasure hunting mixed with a little mystery and pasts catching up make this story a page turner. I highly recommend this book.
Very interesting characters. Not the usual historical romance. Benedict was a sailor. Until he lost his sight. It didn't stop him from "seeing" the world. He traveled and wrote a book. The problem is that no one believes he could have done all of this because of his blindness. When finds out about some stolen gold and that there is a reward, he decides to find it and give his sister the reward money for a dowry. Charlotte has been a courtesan and is looking to change her life. She finds out about the gold and the reward and decided that it would help her make a new life. She has quite a few secrets, but she thinks she can discover where the gold is hidden as it seems to be hidden near her old home. She is the vicar's daughter and no one in the village knows of her other life. Charlotte and Benedict meet and decide to find the gold together. Along with the gold, they find out a lot of things about each other and themselves.
I asked netgalley for an ARC of this book because it's the first in a series and a good reader friend likes this author. It's my first book by Theresa Romain and I will read others, especially the next book in this series. 3.5 rounded to 4 stars Benedict Frost served in His Majesty's navy since he was 12. His career ended due to an illness but he still sails to foreign lands. He has written a book about his travels and has a publisher lined up. He needs the money the book will make for his younger sister, Georgette, who is about to lose her home. As he returns to London he hears about the theft of some newly minted gold sovereigns. When the publisher refuses his book, he decides to search for the coins and collect the reward. Minister's daughter turned courtesan, Charlotte Perry, has come home to find the coins also. She has left that life and needs the reward. She meets Benedict in the village inn where a serving girl was given one of the sovereigns. To her surprise, he later shows up at the vicarage. His friend, Lord Hugo, has asked her parents to host him while he is in town. They decide to work together to find the coins and who is behind the things that keep happening to them. For the rest of the story, read the book. I do not write plot spoilers. I had a hard time getting into this book. I like that the hero and heroine were not aristocrats. The first couple of chapters seemed slow and didn't hold my interest. Then it got very interesting, more complicated and I couldn't put it down. I had to know the outcome. There are some good secondary characters, especially Charlotte's niece, Maggie. Ben's sister Georgette has a chapter in this and it appears she will have a very good story of her own in the next book. The last line in the book was my favorite.
Theresa Romain knows how to dazzle subtly, and to seduce with the gorgeousness of her unequalled prose. With FORTUNE FAVORS THE WICKED, she takes the reader on an unforgettable voyage with a blind man and a former courtesan. FORTUNE FAVORS THE WICKED features unforgettable characters, exquisite writing, brilliant dialogues, and humour as understated as it is utterly delectable. Ms. Romain has crafted an unusual, intricate and riveting story, very touching at times, and filled with surprises. I’m delighted that there is going to be at least another book, in one hopes will be a series. FORTUNE FAVORS THE WICKED might be Ms. Romain’s best work so far, which is saying a lot. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.