Author: K. C. Bateman
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: Forced to do the bidding of a corrupt government minister, Marianne de Bonnard agrees to plant incriminating evidence in the offices of France’s most notorious spymaster. Under cover of night, the tightrope-walking thief puts her skills to good use—until her aerial stunt is foiled when her target appears in the window and, with consummate poise, helps Marianne off the wire and into his lair. The tremors that run through her body are not just from fear; there’s an unwanted frisson of desire there, too. But is it because of her elegant, wickedly handsome host . . . or his proposition?
Nicolas Valette has had plans for his graceful trespasser since he witnessed her unique skills at the Cirque Olympique. Sinuous as a cat, Marianne is perfect for his next mission, but she refuses his generous offer for fear of disobeying her family’s tormenter. When their mutual enemy auctions off her virginity to the highest bidder, Nicolas leaps at the chance to purchase her cooperation. Keeping her will be like trying to tame a wild animal, but what’s life without a little risk? Besides, Nicolas and Marianne both want the same thing: revenge—and, perhaps, something else that’s equally delicious.
Review: What a great romance! It combined an interesting historical period, a prickly young woman, and a dashing English spy. Their very antagonistic relationship–which started at the scene of a crime–developed into a very interesting and exciting story.
Marianne de Beauvais became Marianne Bonnard the night her parents died and she and her sister Sophie had to go and live with their cousin Duval. Being an aristocrat was not a good thing in France in 1815, so she’d had to hide her identity and become one of the many citizens of Paris, working for a living as an acrobat and helping her odious cousin as a thief/spy.
The political situation in France plays a huge part in the motivations of the main characters in this book. My knowledge is not as good as it could be and at times I really wished for a cheat sheet. 🙂 However, I think it’s easily understood within the book so don’t worry if you’re like me and somewhat lacking in French history.
Fortunately, Nicholas Valette, half French aristocrat and half English lordling, was there the night her cousin decided to sell her virginity to the highest bidder. Everything she’d feared had come true! But what she didn’t know was that he was a spy engaging her services for a secret mission that would, inevitably, force her to confront all her fears.
As they race to complete their mission against the background of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, will either of them put away their pride and plans for revenge long enough to find something better with each other?
Deliciously fraught with tension at times, this short romance encompasses adventure, romance, and history. Thanks to the author, I enjoyed it immensely!