Wanted: Gentleman turned rogue
He served his country well… Now it’s time to play
In the world of spies, even love is suspect…
Confirmed spinster meets British spy. What could possibly go wrong?
Retired spy Abigail Matheson has inherited the title of Marchioness of Buchman upon the death of her cousin. The title, which he’d inherited from her father, should never have been hers. But that annoyance is forgotten when The Raven, Abigail’s superior, introduces her to Sir Stirling James. They request her assistance on one final mission: find the stolen crown jewels of Scotland.
Abigail accepts this unexpected opportunity in hopes of forgetting the young French spy she killed on her last assignment. When The Raven and Sir Stirling inform her that she will be working with Lord Reade, a rake of the first order, Abigail, who’s always worked alone, plans to ignore the partnership and complete this mission alone.
Lord Reade, brother to Robert Murdock, the Earl of Kinwall, has been given the opportunity to gamble with men who can afford to lose a lot of money. And a lot of money is exactly what Reade needs if he is to save his family’s ancestral home from creditors and prevent his brother’s family from being forced onto the streets. The catch: he must work with a beautiful spy to find the thief who stole the Honors of Scotland. Surely, he can ignore her long enough to salvage his family’s fortune. The string of suitors determined to be the next Marquess of Buchman prove too much a distraction, however, and Reade is forced to take matters into his own hands.
As a spy in His Majesty’s Service, Ethan Brodie possesses an unrivaled ability to charm himself out of any situation, and under many a petticoat. Upon his mentor’s death, he retires from the service and promises to settle down to the business of finding a wife. Having lived his life on the edge of danger, he soon loses interest in dancing and grows bored with the season’s debutantes. After all, with three younger brothers to insure the Clan Brodie line of succession, he feels no pressure to marry and, instead, seeks out the dangers and risks of hot-air balloons.
To help out a friend, Ethan agrees to escort his mentor’s widow and her niece, Rosalyn Beaumont, on a seaside holiday. After all, he owes his life to the man many times over. But the more time he spends with Rosalyn, the more her prying ways capture his attention.
Rosalyn Beaumont’s heart broke the previous season when she caught her fiancé in bed with another woman. The engagement ended then and there, but her desire for justice did not. Instead of jumping back into the marriage mart, she sets herself up as a Lady’s Defense, providing services to the season’s debutantes by spying on their behalf. She prefers to call herself a discreet observer of men’s habits, particularly those relating to manners, hygiene, and, of course, fidelity. She also seeks to answer any personal curiosities a prospective bride might have.
The day comes when she is contracted to observe Ethan Brodie, but as she investigates the man, she finds her professional detachment crumbling as her attraction to him grows.
Forced into the role of heir by the sudden death of his older brother, Alasdair Lochgeal is robbed of his one passion, serving the Crown. Equally at home in the catacombs of Paris, the portside alleys of Lisbon or on the dark canals of Venice, his family’s wish for him to marry leaves him bereft in the ballrooms of Inverness. What does a man trained in dealing death know of white-gloved misses?
When Sir Stirling James appears with a final mission, simple though it seems, Alasdair can’t pass up the opportunity, little knowing one white-gloved Scottish miss might end his career for good.
At eighteen years old, Cornelia Hardcastle discovered an ugly family secret that could ruin her family. There is only one way to ensure the world doesn’t learn the truth: never marry. Now that she’s twenty-four, however, her parents have put their foot down. She must marry.
The second son of a viscount, Preston Warrington is happy to leave the viscount business to his brother so he can travel the world in search of adventure. To his shock, he returns home from his service to the Crown as a spy to find his family has decreed that he marry.
When the notorious Marriage Maker suggests these two marriage-averse individuals are perfect for each other, they acquiesce. Little do their families know their whirlwind courtship is a sham, and their marriage is in name only.