Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
on 30 June 2009
Sir Harry Valentine has been fluent in English, Russian, and French since the age of twelve. After years in the Army, Harry now rents a residence south of Rudland House. The War Office often delivers documents to Harry which needs to be translated to English quickly. Harry spends most of his time in his office doing these translations; however, he keeps getting distracted by the fact that Lady Olivia Bevelstoke keeps standing at her window staring at him. Harry has no idea whether she is just a curious debutante or is actually a spy. After a couple of meetings Harry decides Lady Olivia is neither a spy, nor kind. In fact, Harry decides he does not like her at all.
When Harry is summoned to the offices at Horse Guards in Whitehall he knows the reason cannot be good. A Russian prince is visiting at the same time that three known sympathizers of Napoleon are in town. It is rumored the prince's late father had favored Napoleon, but no proof was ever found. It is also rumored that his fortunes have diminished and the prince seeks a bride. He has been paying much attention to Lady Olivia. Thus Harry has been ordered to keep an eye on the prince and to make sure Olivia did not unwittingly commit treason. As Harry spends time with Olivia he finds that she is not as cold and remote as he had assumed. Olivia is full of humor and mischief. Perhaps Harry's mission will not be as boring as he had once believed.
***** FIVE STARS! This story overflows with humor to help offset the serious spy content. Harry gives Olivia "a lurid gothic novel" that had been recommended by his sister. Over half of this story is sprinkled with hilarious gems from the gothic novel (which Olivia demanded Harry read and suffer through too). I absolutely could not hold back my laughter as the pair verbally rips the story to shreds often. Once again the author, Julia Quinn, shows readers how her story-telling talent puts her on the Best Seller lists so often. Absolutely marvelous! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.