A naive, young Olivia was tricked by the man she loved into revealing secrets to enemies of the British and blamed for the death of a young Spaniard, who, before he died, gave her a ring and begged her to give it to someone named "Hobbe." She had no choice but to flee the scene, eventually finding a position as a companion under a false name, since her real one had been vilified in society as a murderess and a loose woman.
Seven years later, the treacherous marquis that everyone thought dead is back, and Olivia returns for her revenge. But for some reason, she can't pull the trigger, and instead becomes HIS prisoner. It doesn't take her long to learn that he isn't the man who wronged her at all, but his look-alike cousin, an aide to Wellington himself, who has been ordered to masquerade as the marquis in order to flush out the murderess of the young Spaniard--his beloved brother--who also has the key to a centuries-old treasure that everyone wants desperately, especially the French.
Although she starts out as a silly seventeen-year-old easily deceived by a false lover, Olivia has grown and matured into a strong, independent woman who can face danger calmly and courageously. Robert Danvers steels himself against her charm, believing her responsible for his brother's death. And Olivia discovers that this man's physical resemblance to his evil cousin masks an honorable soul, truly worthy of her devotion. But will he ever really trust her?
This book is one of the better ones I've read recently. Oh, I got a little impatient at the length of time it took Robert to get over his suspicions of Olivia's character, and the treasure hunt was a little unbelievable, but these are minor detractions to the love story between these two courageous lovers. I also enjoyed the character of the all-knowing Mrs. Finch, who doesn't hesitate to give everyone advice on just about everything.
So if you're looking for a typical swooning Regency heroine, look elsewhere. This one has more to worry about than being considered a bluestocking; she proves herself more than capable of dealing with whatever challenges come her way. And for his part, Robert turns out to be a truly worthy hero. Enjoy!