Title: The Black Orchid (The Viper and the Urchin #2)
Author: Celine Jeanjean
Date Read: 31/03/2016 – 04/04/2016
After having such a bad experience with the last book I read, I was so glad that I had a copy of the Black Orchid on my Kindle that I could move straight onto. I knew that being back with Rory and Longinus would bring a smile to my face, and I was not disappointed.
This book picks up a couple of months after the first book. Rory and Longinus are now in the Marchioness’ employ, though so far, she hasn’t had them do anything. When she asks them to investigate the death of man in the Rookery, found exsanguinated, their digging leads them a new brothel, The Black Orchid, and a smuggling ring whose existence makes no sense. When they are framed for the death of an important diplomat’s bodyguard, the race is on to find out exactly who is behind the mysterious disappearances and deaths, before they both end up in prison.
Once again, I can’t decide whether it’s the characters or the world-building that are the highlight. Both are so well-drawn. . Longinus needs all the hugs; while is coping with his most recent confrontation with his sister, Myran, his issues aren’t entirely gone, and there are times in this book when Rory unintentionally exacerbates them (hence him needing the hugs). I really loved the little detail of him saying Myran’s name a few times every day, to ensure his stutter is kept in check. Rory is torn between wanting to make something of herself and leaving behind her urchin identity, which is the only identity she’s ever known. This is partially due to Rafe, who also makes some more appearances in this one, and is now firmly established as Rory’s love interest. We learned a few things about him in this book, too, and I look forward to that being explored further.
And I have to say, I love Damsport. We got to see a few more of the districts within this thriving city, and learned more about how it operates. Jeanjean’s descriptions are wonderful; I want to run along the rooftops with Rory or drink butterscotch coffee in Susie’s Coffeehouse with Longinus. Even though I’m a complete klutz who would slip on the first uneven tile and I generally don’t drink coffee at all, I still want to. The whole place is just cozy and comforting to read about, even with the rough around the edges aspects. In the next book, our favourite characters are going to be traveling out of Damsport, and I can’t wait to see what locations they visit and how those are brought to life.
Overall, I honestly can’t recommend this series enough! Get to it! 😛