The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress

Written by Victoria Alexander
Review by Liz Allenby

Aunt Lucinda leaves Lucy Merryweather her fortune, along with a list of twenty-two adventures she wished she had accomplished. The impetuous Lucy travels to England with plans to experience all twenty-two, including such daring exploits as swimming naked in the moonlight, riding an elephant, being painted in the nude, and taking a lover. It is 1888, and Victorian society considers such behavior scandalous. In England she encounters Cameron Effington, a private investigator, who secretly records her experiences in Cadwallender’s Daily Messenger under the series title “The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress.” The series grows in popularity and notoriety. At first, the reader figures that Cam will have the upper hand since he is reporting about her scandalous behavior, but just as in the card game they play at the end of the novel, Lucy refuses to reveal all of her plans to him.

Victoria Alexander teases the reader with an ongoing series of plot twists that defy predictability and make the love story between Lucy and Cam all the more intriguing. The author deftly weaves in historical anecdotes and cultural references without slowing down the plot progression. Thus, the scenes are fresh and original. The settings are well-drawn, the dialogue entertaining, and the characters likeable and refreshing. The love scene is enticing yet tasteful, and the reader is pulled into the sometimes-fiery relationship between Lucy and Cam as they reveal their identities and feelings for one another.