3.5 because I can't quite bring myself to rate it a 4, but it's quite good, I liked it. It was entertaining, though I'll say at the beginning it was pretty clear Callihan didn't slip into the language of the day very easily. It got better as it went on, or I got used to it. I prefer to think it was the former. I dunno, I was pretty annoyed with Miranda in the beginning, I got to like her better later on, but it was kind of annoying the way everyone bowed to her beauty and the like, which was also true of Victoria, and writing women that way is annoying, like how pretty they are is their only notable feature. It worked for Victoria because that was really the only positive thing she had going for her. But Miranda? She has a really good personality that could of spilled onto her features, there was no need for the constant worshiping of her appearance (that was never fully described other than the fact she's ginger, and slim, with a generous bosom yet is somehow able to pass for a guy on several occasions). You can say she's beautiful a few times and we get it. The plotline was sufficiently amusing and some good action scenes. Callihan writes romance and sex scenes exceptionally well, which I found myself preferring over the "action" scenes which I think could have used a bit of work. There were a few scenes that sort of dragged, but they were necessary to the plot and I trudged through them after taking a break. But like I said--the gem here really is the scenes between Archer and Miranda. The rest is really secondary.If you're looking for gothic fiction though, note this will be disappointing. It really doesn't have the same atmosphere that I expect from gothic fiction.