The Scarlet Spy by Andrea Pickens
The Merlin's are a group of orphans that were trained for years, by the best of the best to be stealth thieves, killers, and in a way the word Detective seems to fit. Sophia knows nothing of her family, save the locket she has bearing the portrait of a lady that shares some of the same features. She is most skilled in all the arts to be a trained assassin as well as those arts needed to be a lady to easily fit in with Polite Society. Sophia has no last name, and probably doesn't remember the name she used to go by on the streets, all she knows is that she is a Merlin, and as a Merlin she will have to earn her wings by going undercover to solve the mystery of the key she holds in her possession. But the task will not be so simple, she must keep a hardened heart even though Lord Deverill Osborne is quite the flatterer and something she can see as a distraction... Dangerous.
Deverill Osborne had a reputation for knowing everyone in town as well as being quite the ladies' man. When asked by a trusted friend to show the widow, Sophia, into Polite Society, he accepted the task he just had no idea how difficult it was going to be. He did not expect to be left with such a spitfire who had such a mysterious demeanor with immeasurable beauty. A man that has never professed love is now matched with a woman that tries all of his senses, as well as his heart. Once he finds out that Sophia is up to something and trying to hide things, not to mention fighting off a couple of men in the alleyway, and being his match, he can't help falling under the Contessa's spell. He must find out the hidden truths before it is too late, and Sophia meets her death for digging too deep.
The Scarlet Spy by Andrea Pickens is the third novel in the Merlin Spies series as I call it, having not read the first two novels I feel like I have missed a lot that I need to back track up on. Based on The Scarlet Spy alone, it was a well written historical romance with twists, turns, and flare. The beginning was a little slow for me to get into, but after the first few chapters the adventure quickly peaked holding my attention the rest of the way through. Pickens does an impeccable job in portraying her characters and the time period. 4 Hearts
Hachette Book Group