This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Spies, traitors, attempted murder and abduction, heiress in peril, handsome Scottish hero and a secret marriage all rolled up into one wild Regency Romance adventure. Sign me up! I eagerly dove into this story with anticipation.
Yvette escapes Boston just ahead of her greedy, crazed step-brother who will do anything to get his hands on her fortune. However, London proves to be no safer as she is again pursued and this time by strangers. The man from her dreams- and yes, I mean literally- arrives in the nick of time to rescue her.
Ewan finds himself rescuing the very lady he has been asked by his best friend to escort safely to her cousin and the very person his colleagues wish to use to flush out into the open her traitorous half-brother who can give them the name of a master spy. During the war with Napoleon, he and several others were put to work spying on behalf of the Regent. Information went astray and now the Regent is set on rooting out the spy master, but someone doesn’t want to be discovered and will do whatever it takes, including eliminating other spies to make sure his or her secret remains safe.
Yvette finds Ewan too good to be true and suspects his motives for assisting her when she overhears part of a conversation. Is he after her fortune she wonders? In the meantime they get into a spot of trouble where he must come to her rescue again. This time the danger is to her reputation and not to her person. Ewan’s solution of pretending to be betrothed leads to further complications, but Yvette lets things slide because he’s keeping her safe and deep down she is enjoying having Ewan around because he has awakened her feelings.
Ewan does quite the juggling act trying to keep Yvette safe while hunting down the spymaster. He knows that he has crossed a line with Yvette and he fears what will happen when she discovers the truth.
When I started reading this book, I was impressed with how it jumped out of the gate like a historical thriller with the girl on the run for her life, but was laced with the amusing descriptions of the vulgar cabin mate from hell. Then it took a shift into almost absurdity (in a comedic way) when Yvette gets discovered in Ewan’s room, when they are treated to an interrogation by a nosy busybody and then when he covers up with the lie of their betrothal and with his friends poking then about it. The story settles down into a tension-filled journey of the romance building with the danger element of pursuit taking place and that whole ‘sword of Damocles’ feeling waiting for Yvette to figure out what Ewan has done.
There was so much going on in this book already with the opener in London, the journey north, the stopover in Northumberland and then finishing up in Scotland. While it was nice to meet Yvette’s relations in Northumberland, I almost wish to have skipped it and had Ewan take Yvette straight to his family in Scotland for her protection because I felt like that portion caused the story to lose momentum before picking back up again. It’s very possible that I might be very partial to the wonderful people and scenes once the story made it to Scotland and that’s what is influencing my opinion somewhat. Haha!
The main characters were likeable and their romance was sweet even if passion got the better of them a few times when restraint would have kept them out of trouble. I couldn’t figure her out at first because Yvette’s emotions and decisions went back and forth, but then I thought about her level of innocence and her age and it made sense. Later in the story when Yvette feels betrayed, I loved how the author deftly handled Yvette’s natural feelings without overdoing the angst. Ewan is a few years older and less naive, but he thinks on his feet and that works for short-term solutions and gets him into trouble in the long run. Because he was so cocky through much of the story, it was fun seeing what happened when he realized how much he loved Yvette. Ewan’s need for Yvette and his vulnerability once she knows the truth made him very endearing. I enjoyed the introduction to Ewan’s family and thought that for secondary characters they were well written. Call me bloodthirsty, but I really wanted to see Audrey, the spiteful cow, brought down for how she treated Yvette.
Overall, I had a good time reading this first time effort and look forward to more from this author. Those who enjoy light Regency Romance romps or Historical Romance with some light suspense should give this one a try.
My thanks to the author for providing my copy of this story in exchange for my honest thoughts on her book.