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5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful late Victorian Mystery Romance, July 9 2004
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This review is from: Not So Innocent (Mass Market Paperback)
What a delightful late Victorian story, from a gently deft writer! Sophie Haversham is lady of quality, even though she lives in genteel poverty with her aunt Violet. Since her uncle's death, Aunt Violet has turned her Mayfair home into a boarding house. Sophie helps with the borders, spends her time in the gardens and in the observatory growing orchids. She is happy with her life, though it is not the life her mother hoped for. Only, Sophie is plagued with visions. Sometimes they come in her dreams, leaving her to wake up shaking, knowing something very horrid will happen; sometimes they seize her while she is up and about causing her to faint and suffer a lingering headache. When she awakens from one of her dreams, where she saw a man dead and bleeding in the park, she knows she just cannot ignore it, so she goes to Scotland Yard with hopes of preventing it.
It's Mick Dunbar's birthday. One of the best roving inspectors of the Yard, he is not facing his birthday with much joy. First, looking in to the mirror he decides to shave his mustache, hoping to hide he is not getting old - after all, thirty-six is NOT old, or so he kept telling himself and everyone at the yard. He arrived to find his office and been moved, while it's being painted, leaving him in the middle of the traffic of the yard. So, he hears the pretty but slightly disheveled young woman trying to report a murder.
When Sophia spies Mick sitting there, she knows he's the man she sees dead in her vision. She describes the park that it is at night, below the statue of Robbie Burns. But she cannot convince Mick the threat is real; he believes it's another birthday joke being played upon him. Later, after he leaves the pub and crosses the park to get to his boarding house, he discovers he is passing right by the statue of Burns. Being alerted, he catches shadows moving in time to fall to the ground to keep from being shot.
Now Mick is convinced Sophia is a nut shooting at him, or she knew someone was going to shoot at him and is trying to protect this person, so Mick is coming after her. He investigates Sophia and those connected to her, and eventually takes a room in Violets Mayfair home. Nothing Sophia tells him changes his mind, so he sets about to find out what she is hiding.
Sophie is telling the truth about her vision, but there are other secrets she is hiding. Their butler was a former criminal. Aunt Violet is "overly fond" of other people's jewellery - not a thief, but a kleptomaniac. Her sister Charlotte is married to a lawyer, who does not love his wife, is stealing from his clients, and keeps a blonde mistress on the side! Just before Mick moves in, Sophie discovers Violet has "borrowed" her cousin's diamond and emerald necklace. When Mick searches the house, and finds it hidden in Sophie's underwear draw, he arrests her.
As Sophie tries to convince Mick he's still in danger, they both are drawn into an affair. Sophie and Mick are delightful characters, and Gurhke bring the end of the 1800's alive. The whole book is just such a wonderful read! I am off to order my Gurhke books!
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5.0 out of 5 stars delightful late Victorian mystery romance, July 9 2004
By 
This review is from: Not So Innocent (Mass Market Paperback)
What a delightful late Victorian story, from a gently deft writer! Sophie Haversham is lady of quality, even though she lives in genteel poverty with her aunt Violet. Since her uncle's death, Aunt Violet has turned her Mayfair home into a boarding house. Sophie helps with the borders, spends her time in the gardens and in the observatory growing orchids. She is happy with her life, though it is not the life her mother hoped for. Only, Sophie is plagued with visions. Sometimes they come in her dreams, leaving her to wake up shaking, knowing something very horrid will happen; sometimes they seize her while she is up and about causing her to faint and suffer a lingering headache. When she awakens from one of her dreams, where she saw a man dead and bleeding in the park, she knows she just cannot ignore it, so she goes to Scotland Yard with hopes of preventing it.
It's Mick Dunbar's birthday. One of the best roving inspectors of the Yard, he is not facing his birthday with much joy. First, looking in to the mirror he decides to shave his mustache, hoping to hide he is not getting old - after all, thirty-six is NOT old, or so he kept telling himself and everyone at the yard. He arrived to find his office and been moved, while it's being painted, leaving him in the middle of the traffic of the yard. So, he hears the pretty but slightly disheveled young woman trying to report a murder.
When Sophia spies Mick sitting there, she knows he's the man she sees dead in her vision. She describes the park that it is at night, below the statue of Robbie Burns. But she cannot convince Mick the threat is real; he believes it's another birthday joke being played upon him. Later, after he leaves the pub and crosses the park to get to his boarding house, he discovers he is passing right by the statue of Burns. Being alerted, he catches shadows moving in time to fall to the ground to keep from being shot.
Now Mick is convinced Sophia is a nut shooting at him, or she knew someone was going to shoot at him and is trying to protect this person, so Mick is coming after her. He investigates Sophia and those connected to her, and eventually takes a room in Violets Mayfair home. Nothing Sophia tells him changes his mind, so he sets about to find out what she is hiding.
Sophie is telling the truth about her vision, but there are other secrets she is hiding. Their butler was a former criminal. Aunt Violet is "overly fond" of other people's jewellery - not a thief, but a kleptomaniac. Her sister Charlotte is married to a lawyer, who does not love his wife, is stealing from his clients, and keeps a blonde mistress on the side! Just before Mick moves in, Sophie discovers Violet has "borrowed" her cousin's diamond and emerald necklace. When Mick searches the house, and finds it hidden in Sophie's underwear draw, he arrests her.
As Sophie tries to convince Mick he's still in danger, they both are drawn into an affair. Sophie and Mick are delightful characters, and Gurhke bring the end of the 1800's alive. The whole book is just such a wonderful read! I am off to order my Gurhke books!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not So Innocent, March 13 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Not So Innocent (Mass Market Paperback)
Just a Terrific read. Sensual, paranormal in a very believable and practical sense, wonderful characters and so well written that you feel a part of the story. Read it from cover to cover without pausing. A very absorbing mystery. This is Ms Guhrke's best yet and definately rates to be on the Top 10. Looking forward to her next book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Supernatural Romance!!!, Jan. 31 2003
By 
Kristi Ahlers (Illinois) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Not So Innocent (Mass Market Paperback)
This was a first time read for me by this author. I must admit that I was not let down.
Sophie and Mick are social opposites. Mick is a London Inspector Detective with Scotland Yard. He is a man that has just celebrated his thirty six birthday does not have a family and has watched his best friends marry, have kids and live the life that he wants to have.
Sophie is genteel poor, has a witch of an older sister, and a harridan for a mother, and lives with her aunt who thinks that she is the reincarnated Cleopatra. She also has the gift of second sight and she feels that no man is ever going to want to marry her because as her sister has told her repeatedly she is a freak. Sophie would have just gone about her business but she could not live with herself if she did not go to Scotland Yard and report the murder that she has 'dreamt' about. When she is in the process of reporting the crime she looks up and sees the object of the murder only he is alive and well and he is Mick. Mick of course does not believe anything that he can not see and thinks that Sophie's act is a birthday prank and goes about his business but on the way home someone tries to kill him but instead of believing Sophie's gift he thinks that Sophie is involved the attempt to kill him This belief leads him to moving into Sophie's aunts boarding house, and into a working relationship between Mick and his unlikely witness Sophie to find a killer that calls himself Heart Eater.
This was a fast read with plenty of suspense as to who is killing London Policemen and lets not forget the romance between Sophie and Mick. Their romance is sweet, tender, and sensual and wonderful to read. I especially liked the dancing scene between Mick and Sophie at the ball. It was probably the most tender moment of the book and I must admit to falling a little bit in love with Mick myself at this point. Add this story to your must read list you won't be disappointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars delightful Victorian paranormal police procedural romance, Dec 21 2002
By 
This review is from: Not So Innocent (Mass Market Paperback)
In 1897 Scotland Yard detective Inspector Mick Dunbar feels ancient on his thirty-sixth birthday. However, just because he thinks he is old it has nothing to do with him handling a case. When Miss Sophie Haversham informs him that she has seen a murder while lying in bed Mick figures she suffered a nightmare, a birthday gaga gift, or is just a lunatic. Sophie realizes she does not need her power to forecast the future to see he disbelieves her. After she explains and he stops laughing out loud, Mick asks who is this unfortunate future victim? Sophia responds "you" and warns him to stay away from Victoria Embankment Gardens.
Mick changes his mind somewhat when an unknown assailant takes a shot at him while he crosses the Victoria Embankment Gardens. He blames Sophie for the attempt and begins to investigate her including her Aunt Violet whose house is where she lives. However, as Mick makes inquiries his skepticism begins to change into a belief that the woman he now loves has psychic powers even as he fears for her safety.
NOT SO INNOCENT is a delightful late Victorian paranormal police procedural romance that readers from both genres will enjoy. The story line absorbs the full attention of the audience as the doubting Mick and the sexy seer make a dynamic team. The investigation into a cop's murder is cleverly designed to entertain mystery fans while furthering the relationship between the lead couple. Hopefully Laura Lee Guhrke provides sequels starring Mick the private investigator and his wife Sophie the psychic assistant.
Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Guhrke writes a sensual page-turner, Dec 5 2002
This review is from: Not So Innocent (Mass Market Paperback)
Sophie Haversham would give anything not to have the gift of foresight. Her talent has already cost her one fiancé. And reporting a crime that hasn't happened yet is no easy task--especially when the future victim turns out to be the tough and devastatingly attractive policeman handling the case.
Inspector Mick Dunbar doesn't believe in visions, and he's convinced that Sophie is actually shielding a would-be murderer. Only when Sophie's life is in danger does Mick realize he has fallen in love with the beautiful courageous woman who can see into his very mind and heart--but will the knowledge come too late to save her?
Laura Lee Guhrke is known for her beautiful prose and lush historical romance novels. In Not So Innocent, Ms. Guhrke turns up the heat and creates two compelling characters that readers will cheer for until the very last page. This was one of the best books I've read this year. I didn't want it to end.
Gloria Winter---avid reader
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Not So Innocent
Not So Innocent by Laura Lee Guhrke (Mass Market Paperback - Nov. 26 2002)
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