ARC Review: The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes

The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian
Publication Date: 07 June 2022

Picking up right where we left off at the end of The Queer Principles of Kitt Webb, this second book in Cat Sebastian’s hist-rom series gives us a rather fun trope, that of blackmail-to-lovers. We get two loveable bisexual disasters in Marian and Rob (best friends of Kitt and Percy from book one), as they plan to take down the aristocracy one felony at a time. Marian has recently shot and killed her husband, the Duke of Clare, and Rob is a highwayman who is the sunshine to Marian’s grumpiness.

Aside from the delightful banter (seriously, it’s some of the best) and the numerous hilarious hijinks that these two get up to, I mostly loved the way Sebastian treats her leads in the bedroom. While you’ll find an emphasis on consent in many books, this one had something unique. Marian has survived an abusive marriage and a traumatic pregnancy that nearly took her life. She is understandably wary of the possibility of getting pregnant again, as she has been told that there is no chance she would survive it a second time. And Rob handles this situation with love and tenderness, and never forces her into something she’s not willing to do. His insistence on making her feel comfortable and loved makes him positively swoony. I also love and appreciate the fact that the author recognizes and normalizes the idea that not all mothers immediately bond with their babies. This is something that the world at large needs to acknowledge, to let women be okay with needing emotional support in the time of new motherhood.

I definitely recommend this series if you’re a fan of the queer hist-rom genre, though I strongly recommend starting with book one so that you have all the background needed for this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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