In book two of Suzanne Enochs Adventurers' Club series we meet the delightful, but very proper, Theresa and the surly wounded Colonel Bartholomew James. First, let me say that is just the most awful name to me and his nickname of Tolly just isn't much better! But, if you can get past the name problem this is another fun, easy read.
Tess and Tolly meet each other at Tollys brothers home (his wife is Tess' cousin) where he is trying to heal his bad knee that he received as a result of a horrible attack by the Thuggee. Almost instantly they are attracted to each other and Tess starts to do some improper things that she clearly mentions in her booklet she wrote, that a proper lady must never do. She speaks her mind quite clearly to Tolly and that intrigues him, especially her parting comment of "you may watch me dance", as Tolly is incapable of dancing at the moment due to his poorly healing knee. Oh course, Tolly turns up at the next dance and has another amusing chat with Tess and she boldly speaks her mind to him again and even allows him to kiss her. Another big no-no in Tess' booklet of proper behavior for ladies.
As they continue on with their flirting, it gradually deepens into something more. Tolly has his knee rebroken in hopes of setting it correctly to it may heal. As Tess was at his home to "visit" her cousin, she heard his screams and came to assist in the surgery. Right before he passes out, he tells her he did it so he could dance with her someday. So sweet! Naturally, he denies it later when she mentions it but they both know it to be true.
The side story was very well done I thought. Tolly is obviously dealing with PTSD and deep emotional issues from his tragedy with the Thuggee. Tess is able to break through this emotional walls he has built up around himself. But the officials of the East India Company are denying that Tollys tale for fear of losing lots of money due to fear of traveling and being attacked and killed by the Thuggee. Which results in a huge cloud of suspension and disgust for Tolly and he refuses to bring Tess into his mess. Her reaction at first bothered me but thankfully she turns it around and does the right thing.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a bit better that the first but I wished we had seen Tess be a bit more proper before meeting Tolly. They meet by the second chapter and Tess is always saying she needs to be proper but we really never got a sense of that beforehand. We did learn the reason why she feels the need to be so proper and how it helps her connect to Tolly, but I guess a preface of some sort would have been nice for me. Looking forward to starting the next book, Rules of an Engagement, soon and I really hope with get the delish Duke of Sommersets book after that!! 4 stars