This story begins in 1793 in France during the height of the French Revolution. The Comte de Revlon and his wife had been expecting the soldiers to arrive and arrest them and had made arrangements to have their baby daughter smuggled to England to a relative with hopes that they would be able to join her. They are trusting the Comtesse’s maid Melanie to smuggle her to safety.
The story then moves to London in 1820, where Angelique Martand, a French woman, working as a spy and assassin for the British government is summoned to her employer John Stafford’s office. She is reluctant to go as she is becoming increasingly disillusioned with her assignments and has reservations about some of the things that she has been requested to do. She is contemplating retiring at the age of 28. She reluctantly answers the summons and is introduced to an American agent and they are jointly given the assignment to track down one Jacob Dixon, a British man who has embezzled a large sum of money from the Collector of the Port of New York.
Nathaniel Avery, or Nate Avery, has not been completely forthcoming to the British spy service about his reasons for undertaking this assignment. He is a handsome man of around 30 years, with a taste for adventure. He is intrigued by the idea of being pared with an attractive female agent; however, he would rather just snatch his quarry and go back to America. He is assured that things will be arranged so that he and Angelique can pose as husband and wife and have entrance to society to track down the thief.
Angelique is given a second assignment, which is to betray Nate by killing his quarry. She is reluctant to do this job but is convinced that it is for national security and she agrees. They set up a house and they each bring a trusted servant with them, of course, the servants are more than they first appear to be.
Nate and Angelique are attracted to each other, the question becomes can two spies with different agendas learn to trust each other enough to fall in love? Will they trust each other will all of their secrets?
Nate Avery reminded me of a young Sean Connery in the James Bond films. His use of wit and dialogue was sharp and he was incredibly sexy. He was also somewhat of a dominant personality. Angelique was his equal in every way and is an early example of a liberated woman. The romance was spicy and heartfelt. Without giving away more of the plot, I will say that I was thoroughly engaged with this story and didn’t want to stop reading it. The conclusion is exactly as it should be. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Linden’s work.