This book is as accomplished as the other ones in this series, but for some reason I didn't quite enjoy it as much as I did those. I wish I could put my finger on why that was the case, because it features the same believable, flawed characters, the same assured writing style, the same witty exchanges and the same level of surprise. Maybe that was the problem - I've read too many novels by this author in too short a space of time, and I need to switch to something else again. Don't let that put you off though; this is still a very good romance novel, which will surprise you at almost every turn. Its characters are well-fleshed-out and likeable, and there are a few subplots which keep everything ticking over nicely so that you've reached the last page before you realise it. Recommended for everyone who likes historical romance with a dash of politics and main characters who aren't heartstoppingly beautiful.