The moment spymaster Baron Fulkham meets the stunning Princess Anne of Chanay, he’s positive her royal persona is a ruse and that she’s actually Monique Servais, the mysterious actress he met three years before in Dieppe. But as he pursues his suspicions, he uncovers a plot of attempted assassination and betrayal that could very well destroy his career, expose his own secrets…and ruin the woman he’s rapidly coming to love.
The Secret of Flirting is a sizzling historical romance filled with fast-paced storytelling, an enchanting heroine, and a sexy hero, perfect for fans of Regency romance.
I have been enjoying the Sinful Suitors series for the last few years, even if I can’t keep all the series’ past, present and future heroes and heroines straight in my head. The Secret of Flirting definitely has the most outlandish of the plotlines so far (fake royalty!), but it is still an entertaining read.
These books are NOT Regency romances, despite popular labelling. They’re set in the decades after the Regency ended, a time period not used all that often in historical romance.
There is quite a lot of actual history that went into this story. At this point in time there really was a new country that needed a new ruler, and author Sabrina Jeffries has created a fictional plotline to fit into these real events.
The term “spymaster” does make me wince – it is overused in historical romance at the moment – but Jeffries has written some of my “best of” reads in the last few years. Because her style is a little less serious than some other authors, I make an exception.
Jeffries does tend to use a few old-fashioned genre tropes, like the surprise “punishment kisses”, which I’m not a fan of.
I do think that the story became a bit stagnant at about the 60% mark. There was a little too much focus on hero and heroine in private moments, and the plot seemed to disappear for a while. It did pick up later on.
What I do enjoy is the author’s use of historically accurate words, some of which I actually looked up, because I couldn’t believe they were from that era.
I did find it odd that the heroine, who had been living in northern France her whole life, would be complaining about the weather in southern England – anyone who has spent a summer in the northern half of France knows that it is NOT exactly a tropical paradise, and that the area is prone to freak storms!
This was generally an entertaining addition to the series. It isn’t my favourite, but Jeffries always writes very readable books.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.