I have no idea why anyone would read my review of a Milan novel because there are so many other people writing so many better reviews of her books than I do. So if you don't know me and you just landed here, you should probably go somewhere else.
The back story on the Turner clan is kinda horrifying. I can't seem to figure out what happened to dad, but mum was "mad", and scary abusive. The boys' sister died as a result, and Lord Justice has that "I Don't Deserve/Can't Afford Happiness" sort of thing going on that is realistic (abuse really is all-too-often internalized in exactly that way, and no matter how smart the person, they just build some complex cognitive structure to make sure they can't ever be happy). The story is a little too close to the annoying Finding the Right Person Will Fix Me meme, but escapes it narrowly. Turner actually has great relationships with his brothers and their families. What he is looking for is someone whose personal background shares some of the terrifying lows and amazing successes that he experienced (essentially: a life history of bipolarity to mimic the parental bipolarity likely suffered by his mum and her dad).
Enough of the psychodrama. What actually happens? Miranda is living in a Temple Parish in Bristol in the mid 19th century. A decade-ish back, there were terrible riots, violently suppressed, and in the aftermath of that, a Patron arose to dish out rough justice in Temple, since the Magistrates couldn't be bothered. As is often the case with overlapping and neighboring jurisdictions, there is some competition between the Patron and the Magistrates and that competition gets way worse as Smite Turner attempts to actually provide Real Justice (TM) in Temple Parish. Miranda (you saw this coming) is in debt to the Patron and she is caught in the middle.
And the next component of my irritation is now relevant: Miranda likes Bad Boys and she is very articulate about this. That is what got her in debt to the Patron and that draws her to Turner. And she will describe this at paragraph length. That's mostly okay. Turner understanding her desire for high risk stuff is also kinda cool. That actual details of what he does for her I have a little more trouble with. I actually _get_ the whole sex in public thing (wow, memories), but what they did was insanely over the top risky and it sure did not need to be.
As always, Milan has created emotionally compelling characters with dark history, a powerful drive to make the world better, a genuinely funny sense of humor and believable attraction. There is kind of a lot of plot here, but it mostly works. I don't know if I will read more, however, all the indications are that I will read more Milan in the future, if not this series than another. I mean, everyone loves here, so it seems inevitable.
No vampires, magic, Sidhe, cyberdogs, airships or anything funny like that. Historical romance. And I am not interested in hearing about the unrealistic dialogue, clothing, etc.