Set in a time when your honor and your word meant everything, the second novel in Bianca Schwarz’s The Gentleman Spy Mysteries series was both entertaining and intriguing.
Sir Henry is, unquestionably, a gentleman. But he’s not opposed to a little fun, especially if it helps to further his investigation of a mysterious organization thought to be kidnapping and murdering unsuspecting young women.
But, when his investigation takes him to Brighton, he meet the alluring, if not standoffish Isabella. And like any eligible gentleman, he has the good decency to fall in love.
What I liked:
This was such a fun read. I have not read the first book in the series, but no matter, this book stands well enough on it’s own. The characters were well developed, the storyline interesting and compelling, and any jaunt into the Regency era, with all of it’s finery and propriety, will always draw my attention. I liked the slow smolder of attraction between Sir Henry and Isabella and that the two, though fully accepted by society, still find a way to thumb their noses at all the pomp and circumstance.
There were plenty of places to laugh, and still others to sigh, in a very Regency era kind of way. There were a few places where the story slowed just a bit for me, but all in all, the story, the memorable and distinct cast of characters, and the masterful balance of risqué and scandalous themes set against the backdrop of one of my favorite historical time periods, earns this book a solid four stars.
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Suspense
Release Date: 6 July 2021
Perfect for lovers of historical romantic mysteries.
Sir Henry, secret agent to the crown, must marry a lady above reproach to afford his illegitimate daughter entrance into society. After narrowly escaping marriage to a highborn bigot, he takes an assignment in Brighton, leading him to an abandoned abbey full of dark whispers, and a sinister secret society, the very one Henry has been investigating for three years.
Isabella is as beautiful as she is talented, but falling in love isn’t part of her plans. She only wants to paint, forget her painful past, and keep her overbearing mother at bay. But gaining one’s independence isn’t easy for a woman in 1823, so Isabella embarks on a fake courtship with Sir Henry. Soon, love and a painting career no longer seem so utterly incompatible.
But when the man Isabella fears most kidnaps her, all appears lost. Realizing the kidnapper is part of the same organization he is investigating, Henry chases after them. Entrapped in a web of secrets, both Henry and Isabella must face old enemies, and fight for their happily ever after.