Working undercover for the government, Bartholomew Dyer must expose a nefarious plot to make Napoleon the ruler of England! He needs access to the highest echelons of Society to find those involved, so he’s forced to enlist the help of the woman who jilted him five years ago—Moira, Lady Rexford.
Moira’s widowed yet still as captivating as ever, and Bart’s determined not to succumb to her charms a second time. But, as they race against time, Bart suspects it’s not their lives at greatest risk—it’s their hearts…
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this, and considered three things:
#1 Spy romances (in a historical setting) don’t often work for me.
#2 Georgie Lee is a talented author.
#3 The Harlequin Historical line usually delivers good books.
Two out of three won out for me, and so I gave this ridiculously-titled book a go – and I’m glad I did.
There’s also the little fact I love reunion stories, and I think it was important in this one, as the action takes place over only a few days. If these two had been characters who hadn’t met before – rather than characters who used to be engaged – it would have been a little hard to believe.
Historical *romances* that involve spies can be a little hard to pull off, particularly if the characters involved are part of the aristocracy. Dukes and Earls and Countesses etc. running around back alleys is a hard idea to make convincing. It was interesting that the hero was a fifth son, and so considered expendable by many (like his father). It was easier to buy that he’d be doing these things behind the scenes.
I liked the interesting take on the heroine’s social isolation; she was almost a beautiful version of Anne Elliot (from Jane Austen’s Persuasion) – a character I find interesting because she’s “quieter” than most literary heroines. She is always helping everyone, but is also overlooked by everyone except the hero.
I liked that she knew how to behave in society, and is beautiful, and cares about her standing in the ton, but she is not extravagant and confident enough (or at least hasn’t been in the past) to catch people’s notice.
She does have a few “Too Stupid To Live” moments, but at least she owned up to most of them, and gave a decent reason for her behaviour. Also, it’s not as though most aristocratic young ladies would have a clue how to do the spy stuff…
Perhaps the end of the book escalated very fast and turned one of the characters into a caricature, and perhaps some of the “can we talk about our relationship?” moments came at the worst times (when the whole of England was in danger), but overall this book rose above my expectations.
Well-researched – and this is very well-researched – spy themes can work in historical romances. I think this was one of those times.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.