***** Leviathan, by L. S. Johnson

We will survive this, Caroline.

It has been several months since Harkworth Hall burned, and mere weeks since Joanna Chase came back into Caroline Daniels’ life. But when a stranger arrives in their village and asks to see the damaged bay, they know that word of the creature has spread. With tensions simmering between France and England, they depart in haste for Medby, where Sir Edward’s brother resides. There they hope to discover if Thomas Masterson has stepped into Sir Edward’s shoes, and now wields the monster called Leviathan. The situation in Medby, however, is far worse than they anticipated. Claiming the French attacked his ships, the younger Masterson seems about to launch an audacious reply. But his true plans are not so straightforward and there is little time for Caroline and Jo to uncover them. With the threat of war demanding risks in kind, Caroline and Jo must weigh their deepening affection against the greater good … and learn to trust not only their instincts, but their hearts as well.

I knew that I would love Leviathan from the moment where the « pretending to be married » trope was introduced at the end of Harkworth Hall. I love those sort of stories, and with where Caroline and Jo left off at the end of the first book, it was just what they needed to add a bit of tension to their story.

In this book, Catherine and Jo have to pose as man and wife to infiltrate the business of the late Edward Masterson’s brother. They want to know if Thomas has taken control of the leviathan that almost killed them last summer and if so, what he plans to do with it.

Mixing mystery, intrigue and romance, Leviathan is the perfect sequel to Harkworth Hall. L. S. Johnson knows how to wield suspense, and she surprises us at every turn.

Caroline and Jo’s relationship honestly developed faster than I would have expected, as I thought they would still spend much of this book in the limbo of will-they-won’t-they. I was actually pleasantly surprised that instead, Johnson decided to cut short with the bullshit and explore an established relationship in depth instead, with it’s ups and downs, and also the reaction of Caroline’s family and friends who aren’t fooled one minute by this « pretending » to be married business.

I won’t be going too much into the plot here, as the book is still in pre-orders (and actually getting published this week I think?), but all in all, it is a very solid sequel and I still heartily recommend this series to everyone.

Five stars!


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