THE BEAUTY. THE SPY. AND THE BEHOLDER.
From the beloved New York Times bestselling Madeline Hunter comes this riveting historical romance, in which a darkly handsome nobleman is determined to unmask a delicate and mysterious young beauty...
A refugee from the war in France, Marielle Lyon has established herself at the fringes of London society. Claiming to be the niece of an executed aristocrat, Marielle welcomes the gossip that she is a spy. The more eyes she has watching her, the better protected she is—and the better chance she has of saving her father’s life.
A warrior at heart, Alban Norwood, Viscount Kendale, would still be in uniform if not for his older brother’s untimely death. After all he’s seen, Kendale doesn’t trust the French—or their femmes fatales. He has set up a surveillance network to ferret out undercover agents, and he believes he’s found one in the delicate, mysterious Marielle.
Ready to pounce on his tempting prey, Kendale arranges a meeting with Marielle, who is more beautiful and more cunning than he anticipated. But the Viscount is ready to do whatever it takes to unmask her—even if it means playing a game of seduction…
Madeline Hunter is a name I see popping up all over the Historical Romance genre, and always in a favorable light. I hadn’t taken the time to really look into her books – “so many books, so little time” and all that rot – but when I was given this book for review, I really had no choice but to dive in. And oh, how very happy I am that I did!!
With nothing in mind but saving her father's life, Marielle Lyon doesn't just welcome her reputation as a spy for her French homeland, she relies on the gossip to keep her safe. After all, the more people watching her and waiting for her to make a mistake, the better protected she is from those who want her captured, or worse, dead.
Alban Norwood, Viscount Kendale, no longer serves his country fighting the in war, but that doesn't mean he can't serve in another way. To keep the beautiful cunning spy, Marielle, from passing secrets to the French, he'll use every tool in his arsenal to draw her out and make her slip up, even seduction…especially seduction!
All of my reading buddies know that when it comes to reading series books in order, I put the "O" in OCD. That said, even though this is the third book in the Fairbourne Quartet series and I haven't yet read the others, it works quite well on its own. I never got the feeling I was missing out on something important, and never felt the story lacking. The characters and the plot are so well written, so fleshed out, the only thing I find I need more of is more of Ms. Hunter's writing.
The Bottom Line:
Intrigue and espionage, humor and romance…this story has it all and kept me turning the pages into the wee hours of the morning. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but Ms. Hunter has written a captivating tale ending in a heartfelt, passionate, happily ever after.
Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine
The Counterfeit Mistress
Mass Market Paperback