James Marlowe is a spy, but for which side? In Britain , he seems to be part of the Young Corinthians. But during a mission, it seems as though he's part of a French group working on supplying Napoleon with money. Is he a traitor, or is he working for the Young Corinthians undercover?
Lady Clarissa Collins is studying painting under one of the best portrait painters in all of Europe , Bernard St. Michelle. She lives with her mother in Paris which is where they moved after finding out that her father was having an affair. Devastated, she turned to her finance, James Marlowe who shocked her by coming up with excuses for her father! That was the end of the engagement and the last time Clarissa saw James.
All this is to change when the group James is working for is tasked to have Mr. St. Michelle paint a portrait in England of a Canada . Unfortunately, one of the strong arms got a bit too rough and broke Mr. St Michelle's arm. Now, the only person that could impersonate him is Clarissa.
To make this scheme work, Clarissa's mother is kidnapped and held for her cooperation. She's dressed as a man and James is sent with her to ensure she doesn't escape or contact anyone for help. This should be fairly straight forward except the Canadian Clarissa is to paint is a headstrong young girl looking for adventure and the agent that is suppose to help James with this assignment for the French is looking to overthrown the guy in charge!
James and Clarissa quickly figure out that they will be lucky to come out of this with no being killed! They are also finding that the feelings they thought were long gone aren't. They were only needing a spark to ignite them once again. With everything else going on, can they even find time to fall in love, again?
This is the third book in Ms Sloane's Regency Rogues series. You do not need to read the previous books to read and enjoy this one. However, James is in the previous book and his "death" is told in it. This is where this book starts so reading them in order would make the transition smoother.
This is a complex plot with lots going on. James gives the appearance of being a double agent but in reality he's undercover. No one knows this though and he has no back up. He has to play everything by ear and hope for the best. Clarissa has a typical life and doesn't want any disruptions. James is definitely a disruption. Napoleon is getting support and it's a rough and dangerous group that is trying to get funds for him. With all the political and espionage, when is there going to be time for love?
The settings are terrific. Not only is Paris described for her streets to her brothels but the blockade is also present. In England , things are equally as well done as our Canadian adventuress visits a courtesan ball, a gaming hell and a boxing match! This is after getting a peak at a mansion and its grounds.
The character are almost as complex as the plot. Clarissa is more than a female painter. She's the daughter of an aristocrat and she isn't' above having a few adventures herself. James is a second son and doesn't feel as if he has family ties that would hold him back from being involved in undercover and questionable activities. Even the secondary characters have more depth than is found in many romance novels.
I'm enjoying this series. The characters are interesting and their plots full of twists and turns which keeps my interest. Even better, there are still plenty of Young Corinthians needing to find their mates so there should be several more books in this roguish series.
A dedicated Young Corinthian agent, James Marlowe accepts the riskiest of missions—to go undercover as a traitor and infiltrate a deadly French crime organization. He is prepared for all matters of intrigue—everything but a surprise encounter with the only woman he has ever loved. Five years ago, the exquisitely stunning Clarissa Collins spurned James’s love and broke his heart. Now the accomplished painter is in peril up to her lovely neck, and only he can protect her.
Lady Clarissa is being blackmailed by malicious men—but that is nothing compared to the torture of being so close to James, the enthralling man who seduced Clarissa, then betrayed her. Despite the hurt and misunderstanding that still simmer between them, their passion ignites anew. With their lives and England’s safety hanging in the balance, they must work together to save everything they hold dear. Can Clarissa and James escape the enemy’s clutches and find their way back to each other’s hearts . . . this time forever?