The Particulars: Historical romance, Harlequin Historical #323, 1996, Out of Print
Jack Hazard Needed A Wife
And Anna Matlin was the perfect woman for the job. Though she seemed like a timid mouse, Jack was convinced that the file clerk possessed a multitude of charms. Charms that he would soon expose as he drew her into his dangerous game of revenge.
Anna's colorless existence ended the day she became the 'wife' of her hero, Jack Hazzard. But though she was learning that beneath the legendary Pinkerton detective's dashing exterior was a haunted, lonely man, still she longed for the brief assignment to become the role of a lifetime!
Is It In Wendy's TBR?: Nope. I know, a Harlequin Historical set in the U.S of A and Wendy doesn't own it? The shock! The horrors!
Any Reviews?: Library Journal gave this one a favorable review (which you can read in full over at Amazon):
Despite the dark Victorian overlay, there are moments of high hilarity in McBride's (Forever and a Day, Harequin, 1995) novel, an interesting blend of poignancy and humor.RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 Stars:
Mary McBride has a gift for distilling tragedy into triumph. If you haven't discovered this talented jewel, take a chance on Mad Jack Hazard. You can't lose.Anything Else?: As much as I love American settings in historical romances (this one takes place in Chicago and St. Louis) I tend to go a big rubbery one over Pinkerton heroes. I'm well aware this makes absolutely no sense at all - what with my mystery/suspense reading background and my love for private detective characters in that particular genre. I don't know why this is, it just is. So that would be why I don't naturally gravitate towards these sorts of American historicals.
Now that all be said, oooooh this one tempts me so! Turns out we have a self-loathing, wounded hero type, who has a tendency to fall into the nearest whiskey bottle. The RT review implies that the hero is coming off a major screw up (caused by his drinking), but he's determined to close one last case - hence plucking the mousy heroine out of the secretarial pool to work with him undercover.
And to think I originally zeroed in on this book because the cover model looked like an extra who wandered off the set of Maverick.
Ahem, anywho - Mary McBride has a decent-sized backlist and wrote several books in the Harlequin Historical line. However her most recent title was a Silhouette Desire from 2008. Nothing since then....