Book three of The Knickerbocker Club series, MOGUL is set in 1890’s New York City. Our hero, Calvin Cabot, is a self-made man who has gone from living a life of poverty with his missionary parents in China to being the owner of three major U.S. newspapers. Lillian Davies is his ex-wife (a well-kept secret since their marriage was annulled by her father). Both have sworn never to have anything to do with each other since the day her father paid off Calvin to leave the marriage and blackmailed the young man into doing his bidding. It is now four years later and Lillian’s younger brother has disappeared and a ransom note of sorts has been delivered to Lillian. The only man who has the contacts to get young Tom out of trouble is Calvin, her former husband. She tracks him down in a Chinese opium den and thinks only the worst of him. At long last Calvin agrees to help Lillian only because he still loves her and desires her. What follows is a steamy adventure through New York City’s Chinatown as Calvin and Lillian deal with Chinese organized crime, kidnapping, an erstwhile beau of Lillian’s, and a mining company left to Lillian and her brother Tom.
Like the other books in this series, there is no lack of adventure and sexually intimate moments. The action is fairly fast-paced and I liked how the complexity of the characters was slowly revealed. I did feel that the baser instincts of these two main characters got in the way of the action at times. Secondary characters were great as well. I loved the strong and quiet Hugo while Tom Davies and Monty Fields were perfectly drawn characters for the time period.
Note: This mass paperback edition also contains the printed version of the novella TYCOON, previously only available as an ebook.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Historical romance
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