A very good, fast paced romantic suspense. This is a follow on of the first Bastion Club novel i.e. same male characters and offshoot of the suspense plot that was set up in the earlier book. All Bastion Club members were former spies in the Penninsula Wars.
Charles St. Austell has his wife hunting interupted by the need to go back to his Cornish estate and follow up a French spying lead, as directed by his former spy-master, the enigmatic Dalziel. It is believed that the traitor was using local Cornish smugglers to take and receive secrets during the Napoleonic wars which have just ended.
On his first night back in his home, Charles discovers that his former lover, Lady Penelope Selborne has made herself at home in his house. She appears late that night dressed in male costume and has been out following her distant cousin who has been acting suspiciously.
Charles and Penny have not seen each other for thirteen years since she was sixteen. Charles had been her first (and only) lover and things had not gone so well. She was in love with him and was disallusioned when they made love, as she thought that on his part it was just lust and he didn't love her. She avoided him from that moment on. Confused by her behaviour and thinking that he had physically hurt her, Charles was then called up into his regiment, as he was a younger son and has not seen her since. His father and two brothers now dead, Charles has inherited the title.
Now seeing each other again, the attraction, and indeed love, is still there. However, Charles has been instructed to find the old spying network and Penny is deeply worried about her family. It turns out that someone else is searching out the spying network and is targetting the Selbourne family for execution and this person is a ruthless killer.
The story moves through the various smuggling groups in the district as Charles and Penny join forces to try and discover what has been going on, how the Selbournes were involved and who the killer is. In the meanwhile they both renew their affair and fall in love.