Make Her Pay by Roxanne St. Claire
Part of what really works in this book is the hero: Constantine Xenakis. He had a supporting role in Hunt Her Down, but he's given his own story here despite his prior naughty antics. He's not just a little bit naughty, either. He's a newly reformed, highly talented thief trying to work his way back into the good graces of the Bullet Catchers. He lies with impunity and has no compunctions about taking stuff from others. But what makes me adore Con's character is that he's aware of his personal failings. And he has certain codes, certain innate behaviors, that make him seem more like a good guy caught in the wrong century than a truly bad guy. He would likely have fit right in fighting bad guys in the wild west.
That is not to say that the heroine is a light weight. Lizzie couldn't be wimpy and survive any sort of relationship with Con. Although I liked Lizzie more than the heroine of St. Claire's last book, I still feel like the hero gets more depth than the heroine. I don't dislike her, and she is believable, but she doesn't have the same complexity.
I found the historical backstory very compelling. Treasure, insanity, pirates, exotic islands... It was very well done and obviously well researched. It didn't weigh the story down with details, and it was woven throughout the story seamlessly.
My Grade: B+